Nov 13, 2013
By Scott Walker
A new study has found a way to boost the brain functions of Alzheimer patients: get them to sing show tunes.
The four-month study at a US care home found that the mental performance of Alzheimer patients who took part in regular group sing-alongs improved compared to those who just listened.
Researchers had the patients sing familiar songs from musicals such as Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and The Wizard of Oz. They found it had the biggest effect on patients with moderate to severe Alzheimers.
Jane Flinn is a neuroscientist at George Mason University in Virginia. She says the results show care homes that don’t engage their patients in sing-alongs should do so.
She says, “The message is: don’t give up on these people. You need to be doing things that engage them, and singing is cheap, easy and engaging.”
The study was presented at the Society of Neuroscience meeting in San Diego.