Music and Memory
We all know the power of an old song to trigger vivid memories that seem to transport us back in time and space. Music is profoundly linked to personal memories. In fact, our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory.
Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things—names, places, facts—is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.
Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.
Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.
But How Does it Work?
A 2009 study from the University of California-Davis mapped the brain while people listened to music and found specific brain regions linked to autobiographical memories and emotions are activated by familiar music. The UC-Davis study titled, “The Neural Architecture of Music-Evoked Autobiographical Memories,” was published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
The discovery may help to explain why music can elicit strong responses from people with Alzheimer’s disease, said the study’s author, Petr Janata, associate professor of psychology at UC-Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain. The hub that music activated is located in the medial prefrontal cortex region—right behind the forehead—and one of the last areas of the brain to atrophy over the course of Alzheimer’s disease.
How Can We Use This Information?
Since 2008, the adaptation of music therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, in particular, has steadily been gaining ground in the United States, Canada and Europe. For professional staff caring for these patients, infusing recognizable music into their daily routines gives staff a way to connect with even the most difficult to reach patients. Personalized music can provide a means of communication and self-expression, even when verbal language abilities have been diminished. For these patients, music replaces confusing outside stimuli with some more familiar to them. Personalized playlists also distract from boredom or stress offering soothing, familiar experience.
Mommy Marketplace Taking Program Applicants
MRHC’s Mommy Marketplace is now taking program applicants. Program participants must be expecting a child and/or have a child under the age of 2 years old to participate. An application is available by contacting Cheryl Lahr at (712) 655-8180, Jill Arp at (712) 655-8170, or by requesting an application from the MRHC – Clinic. Once an application has been approved, a program participant will receive a points book, which will be used to catalog prenatal visits, well child visits, educational opportunities attended and more. Each of these well child and well family events earns the participants “points.” The points may then be redeemed for items from the Mommy Marketplace. Available items include diapers, formula, clothing, feeding supplies and other well child items.
The Mommy Marketplace program is free to participate in and open to any new or expecting mothers and fathers, and those with children up to two years of age. Participants do not need to be an MRHC patient to participate. The primary goal of this program is healthy and happy babies and families.
Mommy Marketplace inventory is provided through donations and grants. For more information contact Lahr at (712) 655-8180 or call (712) 655-2072.
From Small Beginnings…Come Great Things: Prenatal Classes Scheduled
Congratulations on becoming a parent. It is a very joyous and exciting journey, but at the same time, you may feel nervous about what to expect. At Manning Regional Healthcare Center, we want to help you through the labor and delivery process by offering prenatal classes to help you prepare for your new arrival.
To schedule a prenatal class, please call Cheryl Lahr, RN and OB Coordinator, at (712) 655-8180 to schedule a class
During the class, we spend time discussing a wide variety of topics: from what to pack for the hospital, when to come to the hospital, what to expect during labor and how to take care of yourself and your new baby after delivery.
Snacks and beverages are provided, along with samples and handouts with helpful information for you to take home. The cost for the class is $25 per couple. We look forward to seeing you there.
If you have additional questions, please contact Cheryl Lahr at (712) 655-8180 for more information.