Music is all around us. People are exposed to the beauty of music long before they realize – since childhood and until the end of time. It evokes many emotions, many of which during the harshest or saddest of times, helps us feel alive, invigorated and appreciate the very hidden qualities of arousal embedded deep within our roots. It is by no means a surprise that music, even to those with Alzheimer’s, plays a critical role in reviving / stimulating areas of the brain and heart, to an extent nothing else can to a similar effect.
As Alzheimer’s progresses in people, its only mission is to find and destroy memories one after the other. They first begin by eating away the more recent memories (i.e. what I had for dinner or who I met earlier this morning) then progresses on to memories of the distant past.
Watching a loved one go through this slow and painful process is often too agonizing for all, as I believe many of you have seen or known others who have.
Interestingly enough, however, there are certain memories in our brains that cannot be wiped out, or what we call the Alzheimer-untouchable zone. Like a treasure chest hidden deep in a secret cabin of a sunken ship, our brains have deep compartments as well. These powerful and untouchable memories are those pertaining to music. Yes, music.
If you have never witnessed how music impacts an individual with Alzheimer’s, take a look at the video above. This gentleman who is a music-lover and once a great singer now suffers from a progressed, severe case of Alzheimer’s. He can barely speak, but upon reuniting with music he has not heard in years, he is completely awakened. As beautiful as this notion is, what is even more eye-opening is how higher levels of cognition is sustained in him after the music is heard. The afterglow of music is incredible. He is capable of having a regular conversation with those who speak to him and even begins singing songs! Please share this beautiful phenomenon about the potential of music on patients with Alzheimer’s.