Music Stands Up Against Alzheimer’s

Music Stands Up Against Alzheimer’s


It’s impressive how important music is in our lives. Music is the boundless language that everyone understands. It awakens feelings in us, which we store deep inside, and accompanies us through our entire lives, sometimes even longer than your own memory – let us explain… The astonishing influence of music is evident in people suffering from Alzheimer‘s disease. Like Carol…

Deep Emotions & Memories

Carol’s not who she used to be. She doesn’t recognise her sister Nancy or her husband Jim. Mostly it’s as if she hardly notices anything around her anymore. But when Nancy carefully puts on her headphones and plays her absolute favourite song, her eyes light up again. She gently sways in rhythm and can even do all the dance steps. Maybe she’ll punch Jim in the arm or tell him what a funny guy he is. For the length of a song, for 4:35 minutes, she is Carol again! A story of the extraordinary power of music.

When memory is slipping away

In healthy people, the billions of brain cells are all linked together in intricate ways. Information chases through the nerves at incredible speed. Alzheimer‘s is an organic brain disease. The nerve cells as well as the transmission sites for the neuronal messenger substances – the so-called neurotransmitters – are damaged, disturbed and irreparably destroyed in the long term. The communication of the brain cells becomes more and more problematic, until at some point nothing works anymore.

Complete information block

Perhaps the worst thing for those affected themselves is that they can consciously observe the decline of their own ability to think. The human “hard disk” is full to bursting with the experiences of decades; one should actually know everything. You know, but access is no longer possible.

Favourite songs are the mouthpiece of the soul

People who can no longer participate in their environment at all can still be addressed emotionally, with music! Even those who have forgotten everything remember one thing: songs (notes, melodies, lyrics, song structures). You can also see this in an excerpt from the movieAlive Inside“. Henry’s sitting there, but he’s not there anymore, at least not properly. He barely knows who he is anymore. There’s just one thing he hasn’t forgotten: his favourite songs. See for yourself and be inspired:


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There are countless other hopeful and comforting examples of how people who are otherwise completely indifferent can suddenly remember melodies. They even know the lyrics and indulge in the memories of better times. At least for a brief moment they seem to be decades back. Music becomes a journey into their own past and a really great feeling for the affected people themselves and also for their relatives.

A spark of music – a spark of life. Here you can find more Epic Stories about how music revives people:

? 8 Interesting Facts About the Mysterious Earworm
? War Called Off
? A Solidarity Concert for Nelson Mandela
? Death 0: Elvis 1

What special songs will you probably never forget? We are looking forward to your comments! ✍

Author’s gravatar
Joe has been singing since he can remember and started playing guitar when he was 10. He's been using it as a songwriting tool ever since. He is passionate about melody and harmony and admires musicians who create these in unique ways. Check out his alternative / indie projects Best of Feelings and Zef Raček.

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