Can Music Delay Dementia?
(Source: CBS News) – Preliminary research links music lessons in childhood to greater mental acuity decades down the road.
Researchers recruited 70 healthy adults between 60 and 83 years of age and divided them into three groups based upon their musical background. Those who had studied an instrument or learned how to read music performed better on cognitive tests than those with no musical background.
“Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging,” Dr. Brenda Hanna-Pladdy reported. “Since studying an instrument requires years of practice and learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain that could compensate for cognitive declines as we get older.”
The study didn’t actually prove that musical study somehow protects brain function during old age, only that it is associated with better brain function.
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