Singing helped patients fight Alzheimer's

Several studies reviewed by the French magazine Le Figaro have shown the great advantages of singing, both single and group, in fighting stress, a bad mood, and Alzheimer's disease. Scientists believe that elderly people should be encouraged to sing, as this causes the production of beneficial substances in the brain (so-called "hormones of happiness"), as well as stimulating memory.

In particular, a team of researchers from Imperial College London conducted an experiment with 200 volunteers who were enrolled in the choir. Before and after the class, the participants were given saliva samples to analyze the content of "hormones of joy" (dopamine, endorphin, etc.) as well as "stress hormones" (e.g. cortisol). The results showed that already after one hour of singing, the cortisol level in the participants decreased significantly.

According to psychologists from Oxford University, participation in the choir also helps to establish relationships in society, as it involves even the timidest people. And good social relationships contribute to well-being, they say.

Singing can help fight neurodegenerative diseases, according to neuropsychologists at Khan University. The fact is that patients with developing Alzheimer's are finding it increasingly difficult to remember words and their meanings. However, the memory of melodies, on the contrary, is very well preserved.

Scientists explain: at the beginning of the course singing helps patients to reduce stress and improve mood through the production of substances involved in the pleasure chain, and then such classes help to regulate behavior, particularly apathy. Familiar music takes patients out of the unconscious: when they start singing, it is possible to communicate with them again.

They conducted an experiment with elderly people from nursing homes, who were invited to take part in group singing lessons. The researchers noticed that the newly arrived disoriented patients did not feel very comfortable in doing so. But in the next sessions, they were no longer so timid, although they forgot that they had taken part in the choir. Then the specialists learned a new song with them. The elderly could not remember the lyrics, but they managed to remember the melody. When the scientists played the same song a few months later, some of the patients were able to recognize it and sing it. The melody remained in memory for a long time - it was a surprise. 

June 25, 2020, 11:19 a.m.

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