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From Music to Exercise: Ways to Improve Dementia Care

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. However, recent research has provided some uplifting news, with studies showing promising findings that could positively impact the lives of people with dementia.

A recent systematic review found that music therapy can improve various aspects of quality of life for people with dementia, including mood, behaviour, and cognitive function (Cheng et al., 2021). This means that listening to music or participating in music therapy sessions can be a helpful and enjoyable way for people with dementia to enhance their well-being.

Another study found that exercise can improve cognitive function in people with dementia, particularly in areas such as attention, memory, and executive function (Köhler et al., 2021). This means that physical activity can help people with dementia maintain or even improve their cognitive abilities, which is an exciting development.

Moreover, a new blood test has been developed that can detect the presence of Alzheimer's disease with high accuracy, enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment (Palmqvist et al., 2021). This could significantly improve outcomes for people with the condition and their families.

Furthermore, socialisation has been shown to delay cognitive decline in people with dementia. Engaging in social activities such as attending events or spending time with friends and family can improve cognitive function and slow down the progression of dementia (Yu et al., 2021). This is great news for those with the condition, as it means that staying socially active can help maintain their cognitive abilities and overall well-being.

Finally, virtual reality has been shown to improve mood and cognitive function in people with dementia. This exciting technology has been found to enhance attention and executive function, providing a new and engaging way for people with dementia to maintain or improve their cognitive abilities (Sánchez-Cuesta et al., 2021).

Overall, these recent findings offer hope and potential new strategies for improving the lives of those living with dementia. The research shows that there are ways to maintain or even improve cognitive function, enhance well-being, and potentially slow down the progression of the disease. This is an encouraging development that gives hope to those affected by dementia and their loved ones.


  • Cheng, S.-T., Chan, A. C. M., & Lee, J.-J. (2021). A systematic review and meta-analysis of music therapy for improving cognition, mood, and behavior in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(11), 2268.

  • Köhler, M., Hoffmann, K., Steiniger-Brach, B., Roehr, S., Krüger, F., & Petrovic, K. (2021). Exercise training and cognitive function in persons with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Aging & Mental Health, 25(7), 1114-1126.

  • Palmqvist, S., Janelidze, S., Stomrud, E., Zetterberg, H., Karl, J., Zink, K., Brix, B., Rüetschi, U., Mattsson-Carlgren, N., Blennow, K., & Hansson, O. (2021). Performance of fully automated plasma assays as screening tests for Alzheimer disease-related β-amyloid status. JAMA Neurology, 78(4), 461-471.

  • Sánchez-Cuesta, M., Rodríguez-Pérez, R., García-García, J., & Franco-Martín, M. (2021). Effects

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