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Study establishes link between music therapy and dementia treatment

Piano That Lincoln Heard
Posted at 11:47 AM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 12:48:30-05

A recent study found music therapy, which aims to promote well-being through music, can improve social connections between people with dementia and their caregivers.

"Theories suggest because there is a wide activation of parts of the brain when we engage with music, and after a person engages with music, they may become more verbal, and conversational and it's a really important thing for loved ones to be able to see their loves ones talk again,” said Leslie Henry, a board-certified music therapist.

She's seen demand for services surge as research shows music therapy can be an effective treatment for several conditions, including addiction, autism and pain management.

"I've been in the field for many years, and in the last 10 years, we can't seem to educate students fast enough,” she said.

To meet the growing need, musical apps designed for people with dementia are hitting the market.

Henry stresses while apps are a supportive tool, they cannot replace actual music therapy, which she says must be provided by a board-certified music therapist.

For caregivers interested in music therapy, she suggests checking out the American Music Therapy Association's website.