Round Up, November 18th

It's going to be a quiet week around the clinic, but your George Center therapists will be busier than ever! We'll be down in Jacksonville for our annual national music therapy conference! We'll post updates here on the blog and over on Facebook periodically to let you know what we're up to!

Autistic boy finds voice with Katy Perry's 'Roar' (Today)

 

Cool testament to the power of music here! This young boy has autism and is non-verbal. Previously, he had only been able to use one word at a time to make requests, yet is able to sing full lines of Katy Perry's "Roar." Music uses different neural pathways than speaking, which is one of the reasons individuals with brain damage who lose their ability to speak can sometimes still sing.

If I were this child's music therapist, I would put functional phrases ("I want water, please") to the tune of the song then slowly fade the music until he is able to speak the phrase. Great way to use music to attain a non-music goal!

 

Music as Medicine (Worcester Magazine)

 

Pretty extensive and well written write-up on a music therapy practice! Good information.

Can changes in the eyes help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease? (Fox News)

 

Alzheimer's patients' brains boosted by belting out Sound of Music (The Guardian)

More great research backing for music and Alzheimer's and dementia! This study found increased brain function for individuals with moderate to severe dementia who participated in sing-along groups compared to those who just listened to music across a four month period. Longer term studies like this are a very positive sign for the future of music therapy!

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Round Up, September 23rd

Welcome to the new week! This week's Round Up is short on music therapy news, but we've got some very interesting Alzheimer's and autism links to share today! Check 'em out.

 

New Brain Scans For Alzheimer's May Mean Earlier Diagnosis (Forbes)

Very interesting study here. Alzheimer's is notoriously difficult to diagnose, with no single clinical test existing that can identify the disease. If doctors were able to diagnose Alzheimer's through a brain scan, it could mean earlier diagnoses and better results for patients.

 

Georgia autism partnership looks to training opportunities, early detection, support for families (Washington Post)

 

Great local story here about a partnership between the Marcus Autism Center and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning to train day care operators to recognize early signs of autism and support parents.

 

Music Therapists Bring Healing Through Tunes and Beats (Houston Press) 

Check out this write up on music therapy featuring our colleague Bill Matney!

Music Therapy Ride raises $65,000 (Pique)

 

This annual motorcycle fundraiser brought in $65,000 for music therapy in Canada this year! How awesome is that?!

Interested in seeing music therapy first hand? Sign up for a free consultation!

 

 

Round Up, July 29th

I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news...but the Summer of 2013 is coming to an end. Can you even believe that? The good news on this subject is this: Any Dream Will Do is coming back! If you missed out on our teen performing arts group last year, you DEFINITELY don't want to miss it this year! Details on that will be coming soon! To stay up to date, head over to our Facebook page and click "like!"

On to the Round Up...

Music may help lessen kids’ needle stress (TheStar.com)

In a new study, children who listened to music while receiving IV insertions showed lower stress and anxiety. In order to facilitate controlled variables, the children all listened to the same music recordings. Yet we KNOW that patient-preferred music is more effective, as well as live music vs. recorded music, so just imagine how helpful a music therapist might be at a hospital making rounds on the pediatric ward!

 

Don't Trust Online Tests For Alzheimer's Disease (Forbes)

Unfortunately, scams aimed at older adults have been around for a long time, with the advent of the social web bringing about all new scam methods. In this instance, we have online "surveys" that scare you into believing you have Alzheimer's Disease and pushing you to buy supplements and other "preventative" treatments.

However, as detailed in this recent Forbes article, these online surveys are bunk. As anyone who has Googled symptoms of anything before, sometimes it's best just to get your health advice the old fashioned way, at your doctor.

 

Dementia Largely Undiagnosed in China (Huffington Post)

Interesting study conducted that found that over 90% of dementia cases in China go undiagnosed. China has the largest population of individuals with dementia.

10 Epic Fails in Classical Music (Classic FM)

This...is pretty hilarious. At least it is for the music nerds among us. If you don't read the whole list, at least watch this video of this kid's flawless recovery after a cymbal...accident. A true pro's pro.

 

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4 Studies that Support Music Therapy for Patients with Dementia and Alzheimer's

Here at The George Center, we often say that music therapy is for people of all ages. There's a common misconception out there that music therapy is strictly for young children. We've written posts about how music therapy can aid teenagers and young adults, but what about older adults?

The music therapy research for dementia and Alzheimer's is fascinating, and full of really cool results that support music therapy as a cost effective way to improve physical, mental, and emotional health.

Here are four studies that support that use of music therapy in persons with dementia and Alzheimer's:

 

1. Weekly music therapy group participants have significantly lower blood pressure across a 2-year period.

This fascinating 2006 study study blood pressure levels across a two-year period for two groups: a group that received weekly music therapy sessions and a group that did not. The results? The music therapy group had significantly lower blood pressure levels. As we age, our blood pressure tends to increase, which can have adverse effects on our overall health. This research showed that simple weekly group music therapy sessions can have powerful effects on the health of individuals with dementia. Talk about an effective, affordable service!

 

2. Small group music therapy may reduce depressive symptoms in elderly persons with dementia.

This study examined if reminiscence focused music therapy groups could reduce depression, which is frequently seen in persons with dementia. While done on a small scale, the results indicate that memory and reminiscence based music therapy groups may indeed reduce depressive symptoms.

 

3. Singing is an effective way to elicit alert responses from individuals with dementia.

This piece of research found that singing, even without instrumental accompaniment, is an effective way to elicit alert responses (changes in facial expression, movement, eye contact) in persons with dementia, even when other stimuli fail to provide a response. This one shows us that singing can and should be used not only by music therapists, but by caregivers as well! Need to brush up your singing voice? Here's a few tips.

 

4. Music therapy may reduce wandering behavior in persons with dementia.

Individuals with dementia may exhibit wandering behavior. This can increase one's fall risk, which may lead to all sorts of other serious health and safety issues. One on one music therapy interventions have been shown to decrease the amount of wandering in individuals with dementia, as they tend to sit with the therapist for longer periods of time over other interactions.

 

The health benefits of music therapy for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's really are endless, and bringing a music therapist to your assisted living facility is easy and affordable. Let's talk about getting a program started at your facility!

 

Weekend Links - Using Music to Detect Early Alzheimer's

In this week's addition of Weekend Links, we bring you an article written by Holly St. Lifer that recently appeared in both AARP The Magazine and the "Fifty is The New Fifty" blog.

The article details a music-based program called "CogNotes," created by MIT doctoral associate Adam Boulanger.  In the program, users compose a song, then play memory games related to their melody.  Researchers believe that this program will allow individuals to detect signs of Alzheimer's in the very early stages.  Early detection allows doctors and therapists to implement medication and therapies that can slow the progression of the disease.

Read more about this exciting research over at "Fifty is The New Fifty" or in the August/September 2012 issue of AARP The Magazine!