Why Do Alzheimer’s Patients Forget Musical Memories Last?
Despite his Alzheimer’s disease, jazz legend Tony Bennett’s love for singing — and his capacity to recall lyrics and perform in front of thousands of live spectators — has remained. Here’s the science behind how that could be possible.
Few could have guessed that despite his age, Tony Bennett would still have two major concerts, performing hundreds of songs for a big audience and recalling all of their lyrics, left ahead of him when his family announced earlier this year that he had Alzheimer’s. However, there is a unique connection between music and the brain.
“Something amazing happened when it was time to rehearse,” said Anderson Cooper in a recent 60 Minutes segment about Bennett’s preparation for his career finale. The piano player would plunge into the set and take to the stage, whereupon “the legendary showman was back”—performing lengthy sets from memory. In the face of incurable Alzheimer’s, Bennett was able to recall memories of music and lyrics, leading bystanders to describe it as “nothing short of a miracle.” However, neurologists weren’t shocked by his ability to switch on his musical and lyrical memories in the midst of a severe case.
Music is a powerful memory trigger. Every recollection of an event, from the marriage or prom, is triggered by hearing a song that has special meaning for you. And when neurodegenerative illness strikes, this remains true. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease have problems remembering recent events or conversations. They can be less verbal and more visual. However, despite their difficulties, they may still be able to recall musical memories for many years after other types of memories have faded away.
Music has been linked to autobiographical and episodic memory, as well as cognitive function and psychiatric symptoms in healthy people and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Why is it that the memory of music is preserved while other cells in the brain die?
The Science of Musical Memory
Many regions of the brain are affected by music. The auditory cortex, as well as the amygdala, which is responsible for emotional processing, are among the numerous brain systems involved in music appreciation. The amygdala is also important for encoding emotional memories. One theory is that these parts of the brain are more resilient to cell death since they contain cells that may be better equipped to withstand such damage.
Researchers revealed in a 2015 research that familiar songs activate specific regions of the brain. The scientists discovered particular regions of the brain that responded to these songs in healthy people. Then, researchers studied the brains of many individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers discovered that the regions responsible for processing these musical memories do not show significant cell loss or atrophy.
In another experiment, researchers found that photographed-evoked memories declined dramatically while musical memories remained stable. Music is being recognized as a key component of Alzheimer’s disease therapy. Researchers are beginning to realize the significance of music in “unlocking” memory in Alzheimer’s patients. Researchers are discovering that the sections of the brain associated with music-related memories are the last to go in Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s why music therapy is so powerful in assisting individuals in later stages of Alzheimer’s in reconnecting with their past experiences.
Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s
For these reasons, music therapy is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for Alzheimer’s symptoms. There are several music initiatives throughout the world that aim to enhance the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Passive listening, making playlists of old favorites to spark reminiscences, or even playing or singing music as Tony Bennett does are just a few examples of approaches.
Music therapy is a type of non-medical treatment that is both enjoyable and simple to implement, with the added benefit of allowing family members the chance to bond while listening to their loved ones. “He just turned on,” Susan told Cooper about Bennett’s performance at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year, when he was accompanied by megastar Lady Gaga. “It was like a light switch went off.”
Despite having Alzheimer’s, Bennett never misses a beat when it comes to music. Music therapy isn’t only for musicians; it’s also a wonderful way to share some of your music enthusiasm with loved ones who are going through their own Alzheimer’s experiences.
What Louis Tomlinson Thinks About A Possible One Direction Reunion
After breaking out in the media with hits such as “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Story Of My Life,” “Best Song Ever,” and more, 1D took the world by storm (via Digital Spy). However, in 2015, the boy band shocked their devoted followers when they announced that they will be taking a break. According to E! News, the group shocked their fans by announcing that they would go on hiatus in 2015. After Zayn Malik announced his intentions to leave 1D, the band decided to disband in order to focus on their own solo projects.
“They are great friends and fully support one another,” a source said of the group. “They are very aware that they are able to work on their own stuff as well as remain together. This is an exciting time for them creatively and as a group.” However, it appears that at least one member of One Direction was in opposition to the split.
Before the break, Tomlinson told The Guardian that he was feeling optimistic about the band. “In the last year of One Direction, I was probably the most confident I ever was,” he said. “And then it was: ‘OK, hiatus!'” He acknowledged that he struggled against it, but ultimately lost.
Since then, One Direction has yet to record any new music. The group’s future, on the other hand, appears promising.
Did Louis Tomlinson hint at a possible 1D reunion?
According to Cheat Sheet, since announcing the group’s hiatus in 2015, One Direction members have been working on their solo careers and other activities like beginning families. Louis Tomlinson recently spoke out about a possible reunion and left fans wondering if there could be hope for the group in the future, despite Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik all remaining quiet on the subject of a reunion.
In 2021, Tomlinson took part in the WIRED Google autocomplete challenge, answering queries about himself that fans most search for on the internet. He went through his tattoos, color of his hair, eye color, and more before finally getting to One Direction. When asked about the group he replied, “Good time in my life. Hopefully, we come back.” The return of an iconic logo inspired fans to believe that perhaps, just maybe, the band was reuniting. Fans also noticed that when Tomlinson referred to 1D as the band he “is” in before correcting himself to say “was,” he made a minor slip of the tongue.
Could Harry’s comments be hinting at a One Direction reunion? Despite the fact that it appears improbable for now, fans have not stopped hoping for the group to reunite and create new music in the future.
This Is How Elton John Got His Name
Elton John is one of the most famous names in modern music, with his distinctive appearance and voice, as well as instantly-recognizable songs. It’s difficult to find many individuals who haven’t heard Elton John, better known as “The Rocketman,” thanks to his signature song of the same name. In fact, the Elton John biopic film released in 2019 was called “Rocketman” because the word is so easily identifiable with John (via IMDb).
However, prior to his career as “The Rocketman” and even before he earned the moniker “Elton John,” he was known by a different name. He actually went by his birth name, Reginald Kenneth Dwight, and dropped out of school at the age of 17 to pursue a music career (via Biography). He eventually changed his name because he was becoming more successful, however even the film documenting his life didn’t get his change of name right.
Elton John chose a new name on the fly
The film “Rocketman” tells audiences that Reginald Kenneth Dwight changed his name to Elton John after meeting John Lennon, the famous Beatle. Lennon, on the other hand, had nothing to do with how Elton John got his name. Another singer known as John also existed.
According to a 1991 interview with Rowan Atkinson, Reginald Dwight was a member of the group “Bluesology” and decided to go it alone, hence the name change. He said he chose the name Elton after a saxophone player in the group because he wanted to branch out on his own. In a 1990 interview conducted after the release of his CD box set entitled “To Be Continued…”
“I was in Bluesology, and we were coming back from a Long John Baldry gig somewhere, and we got a bus from London airport to London and someone said, ‘We’ve made it now, so what are you going to call yourself?'” John said (via The Wrap). “The saxophone player in the band was called Elton Dean, a very good jazz sax player, and the only other Elton I could think of was Elton Hayes, who recorded the song ‘The Owl and the Pussycat.’ So I took ‘Elton’ from Elton Dean and ‘John’ from Long John Baldry. I wanted to choose a name that nobody had, and it was as quick as that.”
Fans Think Britney Spears Is Pregnant According to Them
When Britney Spears updated her Instagram Story, she may have started a rumour about herself. The singer and her partner Sam Asghari are relaxing on Maui, Hawaii at present. While posing for photos with her adoring public, Spears revealed that lately she hasn’t felt too well (via Fox News).
“I think I have a small bug … the only thing that is similar to this feeling is when I was pregnant…” the star wrote as a caption to the clip. She continued, “it’s the nausea that is the worst … It’s like I can’t wake up so I go to the gym trying to wake my system up !!!”
Spears continued her post by writing, “It’s like clockwork … I break my first sweat then I go to the bathroom and throw up… it’s absolutely horrible but then I stay at the gym because I don’t want to go home and lay sick in bed …. I keep going and [at] night I go dancing and my system starts to get clarity … Dude … this has been going on for a month and if someone has this you’re not alone !!!”
Following her return to Instagram, fans immediately started speculating about whether she is expecting again, with one user writing, “She’s pregnant again.” “Awwww baby on the way.” “Morning sickness my dear,” echoed another fan.
More Spears fans were reacting to her tweet about pregnancy on Twitter.
She has confirmed that she wants to conceive again
The celebrity’s message about being sick for a month caused Twitter to go wild. “Britney girl…your nausea has lasted for a month and the only other time you felt like this was when you were pregnant???? who’s gonna tell her?” asked one fan. “I think it’s time to get a pregnancy test PLS,” someone else tweeted.
The rumor mill was still in operation, with another individual adding, “Girls Britney is pregnant. Throwing up every morning for a month…. And she even said herself she’s never felt like this except when pregnant….”
Although she enjoyed her first title, Spears is still determined to have another kid. As the whole world heard during her conservatorship hearing as she tried to terminate it, Spears, who is a mother of two adolescent sons, wants to conceive another child. “I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby. I have an IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant,” the pop star testified. “I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have any more children,” she said (via Billboard).
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