Music therapy and exercise help improve cognitive skills and combat the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. With three mornings of combined musical and physical activity in one week, about 80% of seniors have experienced significant cognitive improvements, and another 20% remained stable compared to their starting conditions.
We spoke with Michela Matteoli, Director at the Institute of Neurosciences of the Italian National Research Council and Director of the Neuroscience Program at Humanitas : “The study that led to these results is called “Train the Brain” and it is a project developed on the basis of the idea of Lamberto Maffei of the Institute of Neuroscience of the National Research Council (CNR-IN), which I have had the honor of leading for a few months. Individuals with neurodegenerative issues that have participated in the project, recruited with the cooperation of general practitioners and participated for seven months in activities to stimulate the different cognitive domains, such as music therapy activities and exercise. The activities were held three mornings a week. ”
Music therapy helps prevent dementia
The results of study indicated that “80% of the patients who participated in this project showed significant cognitive improvement; the remaining 20% remained stable over time. Patients in the control group showed a significant worsening,” says the researcher. More importantly tests carried out after the study showed that patients exposed to the 3 day a week music therapy experienced “changes in vascular function, including increased inflow of blood to the brain and improved brain response to demanding tasks”.
Music therapy, cognitive stimulation and exercise help prevent dementia, but we must not forget the most important factor which helps maintain brain function: “We have known for years that the” power “of certain foods, such as anthocyanins, contained in red fruits, protect cardiovascular function and enhance cognitive skills. Just as we know that a poor diet, obesity and metabolic syndrome are associated with a higher incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s”, concluded the expert.
Have a healthy diet, listen to music and exercise to keep your mind fit and sharp!