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2019 Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders (GBHI)

Music and Dementia

Catherine Jordan, PhD
Global Brain Health Institute and Trinity College
Dublin, Ireland

Researchers are trying to develop novel methods of caregiving that improve quality-of-life for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Past studies have shown that personally meaningful music may decrease stress and anxiety levels in individuals with dementia. Dr. Jordan plans to use brain scans (fMRI- functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to explore changes in the brain regions that occur among individuals with early Alzheimer’s as they listen to segments of familiar, less familiar, and completely unfamiliar music. Dr. Jordan’s study may provide a greater insight into the brain areas involved in long-term musical memory and help further our understanding of the mechanisms that music therapy potentially offers to people living with dementia. The results from this project could be used to inform future music intervention studies.

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