Striking a Chord: Researchers Seek to Understand Effects of Music on Dementia

    In recent years, music therapy has grown in popularity for its seeming ability to help calm people with dementia and reconnect them with their memories. Now a Northwestern University researcher is testing whether music played for residents of a suburban nursing home can be therapeutic, whether it can improve cognition, conversation and relationships.

    As the number of dementia patients grows — to nearly one in three seniors by the time of death — advocates hope to get insurance and Medicare to extend music therapy to everyone who could benefit from it.

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