Pop Music Jogs Alzheimer’s Patients’ Memories

Published Online: Monday, March 18, 2013
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Pop music may be able to help Alzheimer’s patients recall personal memories, according to an article published on February 12, 2013 in International Psychogeriatrics.

Researchers developed a questionnaire using old French popular songs called POP 10. The questionnaire tested 12 participants with Alzheimer’s disease and 12 controls on melodic recall, chorus recall, melodic and chorus recognition, semantic knowledge, autobiographical recall about the song, and overall autobiographical recall.

The popular music caused similar memory results in participants with and without Alzheimer’s disease for melodic memory. Alzheimer’s patients were able to recall less in chorus memory, semantic knowledge, and overall biographical recall. However, there were no impairment differences between Alzheimer’s patients and healthy patients in autobiographical recall about the song.

The researchers conclude that popular songs can help stimulate reminiscence in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, allowing them to remember moments of their lives connected to specific songs. They suggest that music can be used in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and can lead to new possibilities for cognitive stimulation.

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