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A study found that playing familiar music may boost brain health and self-awareness in Alzheimer's patients.

A study found that playing familiar music may boost brain health and self-awareness in Alzheimer's patients.

Despite all of modern science's breakthroughs in understanding brain health and boosting memory support, there is still as of yet no cure for elderly patients afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Diagnoses of Alzheimer's, dementia and similar mental conditions have become more prevalent over the decades as more of our population continues to age and stave off other potential health problems. But researchers continue to push ahead, with several promising new developments for Alzheimer's treatment on the horizon — including one that involves music.

According to a new article in Scientific American, playing familiar pieces of music for patients with Alzheimer's disease might help improve their self-awareness, allowing for overall stronger information processing and more accurate observations of their environment. The source cites the findings of a September 2013 study published by researchers at the University of Salamanca in Spain, where Alzheimer's patients had both familiar and unfamiliar music played for them three times a week, over a three-month period.

"Those who heard tunes they knew showed an immediate improvement in identity, mood, moral judgment and body awareness — elements of self-consciousness that are adversely affected by Alzheimer's," writes Scientific American. "Those who listened to unfamiliar music scored worse on all measures except body awareness."

The source adds that the patients who were exposed to familiar music sustained consistent scores on tests that gauged their overall cognitive abilities, while those who had unfamiliar music played saw significant drops in their exam scores.

While these findings are far from a conclusive discovery linking music to Alzheimer's treatment, they make for a promising new development that will hopefully open the door for effective solutions to Alzheimer's disease in the future.

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