Term Paper: Benefits of Music and Therapeutic Influence on Alzheimer Patients

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¶ … Music and therapeutic influence on Alzheimer Patients

Types of therapies used through using music for Alzheimer Patients?

Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder mostly attributed to the lesions that slowly and gradually destroy cells in the brain. With the death of nerve cells the influenced areas of the brain shrivel and gradually become smaller. The fields of brain that regulate memory, logical thinking as well as personality are normally influenced in such disorders mostly. With the areas of brain becoming smaller, the cavities existing within the brain having fluid become enlarged. As a result of this the Alzheimer's disease the patients suffers from loss of recent memory and difficulties with calculation, language, abstract thinking as well as judgment. The patient demonstrates variations in depression, anxiety and personality and erratic quirks or behavior. In chronic cases there generally occur delusions and hallucinations. It became difficult to know the time, date or place. Alzheimer's disease is observed to be incurable and not a normal process of aging. (Alzheimer's and Other Dementias: Understanding the Differences)

The studies that have been made demonstrate that music therapy can conveniently apply with Alzheimer patients even in an advanced state when the therapy arouses emotional and sensory areas. Three areas like cognitive, emotional as well as sensory or physical developments were evaluated and observed to have great impact of music. Since Alzheimer disease is regarded to be a degenerative one, the primary objective of the Music Therapy is not to cure the patient but to extend the feasibility of interaction with the external environment. Music therapy is relied upon to evaluate the residual, potential and expressive capabilities of patients. Moreover, it is regarded as a communicative instrument in creating new structures that can initiate new avenues of communication and interaction with reality. (Observation of the Alzheimer Patient and Music Therapy)

In case of the Alzheimer patients the cognitive tests concentrate on cognitive abilities, music therapy treatment concentrates on emotional and sensory abilities giving rise to the augmentation of cognitive processes. The focus on cognitive areas is observed to be the primary function of the mind that indicates all the cognitive activity as well as the cognitive responses that includes consideration, judgment, recognition, memory and the patient still persists. In cases of the emotional spheres the impact of music therapy in respect of emotional participation as well as emotional responses are observed. Similarly in respect of the sensory and physical area the impact is observed in case of the posture and sensory reactions like touch, smell, hearing, sight as well as taste. Such observations lead to conclude that a music therapy treatment with Alzheimer patient in an advanced stage is feasible when the therapy attempts encourage the emotional and sensory areas.

Moreover, the purpose of music therapy cannot be complete recovery of patients, since the disease is degenerative. The purpose of music therapy is to accord the patients the possibilities to interact with the outside world, even in an advanced stage. The sensory and emotional areas are regarded as the field where the personality of the patients seen to be forceful and express itself and also are the initiation point for building up new structures those can start new mode of communication an interaction with reality. The reaction to the music therapy is regarded as the extraordinary irrespective of the poor health conditions of the patients. However, it is seen that the interaction of sound as the mode of therapeutic relationship is feasible only through the activation and the observation of the sensory and emotional areas. (Observation of the Alzheimer Patient and Music Therapy)

2. When and how did this idea come in to affect patients short-term and maybe long-term and how long has this been proven to make improvements to Alzheimer patients and is it considered one of the most effective types of therapies?

The healing impact of music that could influence health and behavior is traced to the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The modern age discipline of music therapy originated during the post World War I and World War II, when the community musicians of all kinds, both amateur and professional, visited veteran's hospitals all over the nation to deliver their skills for the number of veterans ailing both from physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The significant reactions of the patients both in respect of physical and emotional made the doctors and nurses to request for the hiring of musicians. (Music Therapy)

The music therapist evaluates the social functioning, physical health, emotional welfare, communication abilities as well as cognitive skills through music responses. They also chalk out music sessions for individuals and groups based on client requirements "applying music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance and learning through music." (Music Therapy) Besides, music therapists involve in interdisciplinary planning of treatment, ongoing assessment and follow up. The ability of music and other sounds to foster relaxation can conveniently be applied by everybody. Since the time immemorial the environmental sounds like the sound of a waterfall, the running stream, or bird songs are being used by the psychologists as a mode of healing stress and depression. (Music Therapy)

Most of the studies on the influence of music therapy concentrate on the contribution of music as a healing mode in declining the agitated behavior of the patients. Music has been seen as a therapy to foster the feelings of acceptance and belonging. Playing of the favorite songs is sometimes applied to sooth the excited Alzheimer Disease patients. It has been observed that music can conveniently be applied as an alternative mode of interacting with Alzheimer Disease patients, when their ability to express and interpret language has considerably declined. (The Impact of Music Therapy on Alzheimer's disease Patients)

The patients of Alzheimer disease are seen to have retained musical perception, and learn new information when presented in a musical context. Research studies have indicated that music therapy may be a creative and effective behavior management in addressing of disruptive behaviors demonstrated by people with Alzheimer's disease. Irrespective of the fact the Alzheimer's disease results in gradual brain deterioration, musical activity can be altered positively for even the most severely demented patients. The music therapy is seen as having great potentiality for improving the quality of life as well as the well-being of both family caregivers and also the patients. (The Impact of Music Therapy on Alzheimer's disease Patients)

3. What are some of the success stories that are documented in patients that are considered popular among the doctors that treat and work with these patients?

The application of music therapy program increases the melatonin levels and enhances the behavior and sleeping problems among the Alzheimer patients. Dr. Adarsh Kumar and his colleagues at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine in Florida studied the application of music therapy on 20 male Alzheimer patients. They are administered with music therapy for 30 to 40 minutes, for 5 days a week for one month. The blood samples taken at the beginning of the study and at the end of the four weeks of treatment and six weeks after the conclusion of the study. It is seen that epinephrine, melatonin and norepinephrine blood levels have been significantly checked. Such brain chemicals normally affect the mental state. Music therapy has been seen as a safer and more effective alternative to many psychotropic medications. Similar to meditation and yoga music is seen as assistive in maintaining our hormonal as well as emotional balance, even during the period of stress or disease. (Music & Alzheimer's - music therapy as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease)

The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function demonstrates many success stories as a testimony to the impact of music in enhancing the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer's, stroke, Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders. More than 200 patients are being treated at Beth Abraham entailing with music therapy at least once a week. The music group at Beth Abraham is known as Rejuvenators so as to reflect their commitment in entailing the patients to regain strength by pursuing musical goals. (Success stories) In its initial stages of progressive dementia one person managed with a xylophone during a music therapy session to represent his feelings in terms of words, 'I don't know how anyone can live without music.' (Music Therapy and Alzheimer's Disease)

4. Who does this music therapy and have applied it in facilities for Alzheimer Patients or hospitals that treat Alzheimer Patients.

The contributions of Laurie Riley in bringing the application of music as a leading healing and transitional force among the medical and healing communities has been recognized to have surpassed her contributions in form of wonderful music.

The researcher Oliver Sacks, the neurologists concentrated on Parkinson's disease, Turrets Syndrome and Alzheimer's, announced, whenever he got a book on neurology or psychology, at first he attempted to take a view on the index for the presence of the concept 'music'. He used to close the book at… [END OF PREVIEW]

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