Abstract Title:

[Music therapy for dementia and higher cognitive dysfunction: a review].

Abstract Source:

Brain Nerve. 2011 Dec ;63(12):1370-7. PMID: 22147456

Abstract Author(s):

Masayuki Satoh

Article Affiliation:

Masayuki Satoh


Music is known to affect the human mind and body. Music therapy utilizes the effects of music for medical purposes. The history of music therapy is quite long, but only limited evidence supports its usefulness in the treatment of higher cognitive dysfunction. As for dementia, some studies conclude that music therapy is effective for preventing cognitive deterioration and the occurrence of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). In patients receiving music therapy for the treatment of higher cognitive dysfunction, aphasia was reported as the most common symptom. Many studies have been conducted to determine whether singing can improve aphasic symptoms: singing familiar and/or unfamiliar songs did not show any positive effect on aphasia. Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a method that utilizes melody and rhythm to improve speech output. MIT is a method that is known to have positive effects on aphasic patients. Some studies of music therapy for patients with unilateral spatial neglect; apraxia; hemiparesis; and walking disturbances, including parkinsonian gait, are available in the literature. Studies showed that the symptoms of unilateral spatial neglect and hemiparesis significantly improved when musical instruments were played for several months as a part of the music therapy. Here, I describe my study in which mental singing showed a positive effect on parkinsonian gait. Music is interesting, and every patient can go through training without any pain. Future studies need to be conducted to establish evidence of the positive effects of music therapy on neurological and neuropsychological symptoms.

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