According to a new report commissioned jointly by the International Longevity Centre think-tank and the Utley Foundation, the symptoms of hundreds of thousands sufferers of dementia could potentially be alleviated via a kind of a therapy most of us inadvertently use everyday – music therapy. The study revealed that music can help people with dementia “recall information and reduce symptoms such as anxiety, agitation and aggression.”

Through a combination of existing evidence and expert interviews, researchers were able to determine that  music may also “help to delay the onset of dementia and improve brain function and information recall.” The commission has now called for music therapy to be introduced and integrated with more priority in the UK where the study revealed that only 5% of care homes were using the therapy effectively.

Dr Laura Phipps, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “NHS guidelines suggest music therapy as a possible way to help people with dementia deal with complex behavioural symptoms. As more studies start to explore the benefits of music in dementia, this report highlights the importance of developing robust and practical approaches to explore the benefits and cost-effectiveness of music interventions, which are often delivered in very diverse and tailored ways.

“It is vital to explore all avenues to improve the lives of people with dementia, as well as ensuring that they can benefit from such developments, and research has an important role to play here.”


via The Guardian