How Music Therapy Helps People With Alzheimer's

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Music could be good for Alzheimer's patients by relieving their anxiety and bringing them comfort, CBS's The Early Show reports.

Even people with Alzheimer's disease are often able to sing along to familiar songs, when they aren't able to remember much else, The Early Show reports, because certain brain pathways are stimulated by the music.

Tania Papayannopoulou, a music therapist, said that one of her patients who does not usually talk or move much, begins to sing when a song she knows is played.

"She feels it, it touches her heart, and she does not forget the words," Papayannopoulou told The Early Show.

A 2009 study backs up the phenomenon, showing that both anxiety and depression are lessened in Alzheimer's patients when they receive music therapy.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that music therapy can also help to decrease the wandering and restlessness experienced by Alzheimer's patients, and can also improve sleep and mood.

Music therapy has also been shown to be effective for patients with other diseases and conditions, including people with cancer. Research has shown that it helps to lower anxiety and even improve blood pressure, Health.com reported.

Other research has found that humor therapy could also be good for people with dementia by reducing agitated behavior.

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