Music and Memory

8.09.19

Professor Henry Brodaty is Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, the Director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at the University of New South Wales.  

His areas of expertise include dementia; depression; psychiatric illness in the aged; Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders; prevention; carers; health and community services for the elderly; nursing homes; psychogeriatrics.

In this video clip taken from the Musical Armchair Travels training DVD, Professor Brodaty reveals what research says about the benefits of music for sufferers of dementia. In explaining the fact that different types of memory are stored in different parts of the brain, he confirms the discovery that music memory is more resistant to decay than visual or verbal memory because of the area of the brain it sits in.

This has far reaching implications for improving the quality of life of the elderly in care, particularly those with dementia or Alzheimer’s who may otherwise prove difficult to reach and engage with. If we can tap into the musical memory of aged care residents through the use of personal preference music, Professor Brodaty states, we can reduce agitation and aggression and bring them out of a state of apathy or depression thus decreasing the need for pharmacological intervention.