The hippocampus plays a key role in learning and memory, and is the area of the brain associated with causing dementia symptoms and impacting balance. In a recent published group study, half of all elderly volunteers were assigned an 18-month weekly course of dance routines (altered bi-monthly) and the other half were given endurance and flexibility training (repetitive exercises). Was one type of exercise better than the other?
With an average age of 68, it was more challenging with varying genres and routines to remember the movements under pressure, but these extra struggles proved useful when balance and behavior improved; thus, strengthening the hippocampus and reversing signs of aging in the brain.
We know music enhances our emotional health, and as discussed in previous blogs, the amygdala acts as chief officer of the limbic system (where we process emotions). This area of our brain remains untouched by various forms of dementia, so as long as we can respond emotionally as human beings, we can respond to music. If we can always respond to music, then there are physical ways to act out enhancing our experience through dance:
“Right now, we are evaluating a new system called “Jymmin” (jamming and gymnastics). This is a sensor-based system which generates sounds (melodies, rhythm) based on physical activity. We know that dementia patients react strongly when listening to music. We want to combine the promising aspects of physical activity and active music making in a feasibility study with dementia patients.” -Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld
(Source: “Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 25 August 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170825124902.htm)
Neat concept, and one that could improve our brain health while having fun!
As always, I invite you to contact me with questions, or with any requests for presentations on Music & Memory, Writing, Book Signings, or Book Club Events. Also, if you've been trying to purchase a book, please be patient as I am working with a new publisher for book 1 and book 2. Thank you for your support and see you in December!
#Alzheimers #Dancing #Music #BrainHealth #Dementia #PreventingDementia #NeuroHealth #Exercise #AntiAging #EndAlz #Parkinsons