Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Attending The Symphony Reverses Cognitive Decline, Study Finds
A Colorado State University study found that the majority of dementia and Alzheimer’s participants experienced an unexpected reversal of cognitive decline from listening to classical music.
While the study was limited in size, the results as they relate to cognitive decline reversal, are huge, said the lead researcher, Jeni Cross. Eleven of 15 participants saw a reversal of cognitive decline.
“That’s stunning for people who have a degenerative disease,” said Cross, an associate professor in CSU’s Department of Sociology. “The best we had hoped for was to keep cognitive function flat. It actually improved for most of them.” She urged further study on a larger scale.
The study ― known as the B Sharp program ― also reported heightened alertness and engagement and more positive interactions between caregivers and their loved ones.
Cross said the program also benefited caregivers, who often become isolated and lose reciprocal relationships because of their loved one’s decreasing ability to give back. The program gave them a sense of normalcy and allowed them to connect with other caregivers who were in the same situation.
The researchers used the Geriatric Depression Scale as well as surveys, interviews and focus groups to measure things like mood, connectedness and support. Cross said the positive effect on participants’ mood began days before each performance, as they anticipated the upcoming concert. And even those with severe forms of dementia remembered the next day that something important had happened the night before.
Cross acknowledged that the findings are preliminary, given the limited sample size, but called the results promising. She said three journal articles about the findings are in the works. The B Sharp program was funded by the university, Banner Health, Kaiser Permanente, the Fort Collins Symphony, the Larimer County Office on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association and an area certified dementia practitioner. Each participant was given season tickets to five performances and concert receptions.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by HUFFINGTONPOST
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length