I recently had cause to dig out my copy of Oliver Sacks book Musicophilia and lend it to a friend, because she has started to volunteer for an organisation that is using singing to help people with Alzheimer’s. This improves memory, health and wellbeing.
For those of you that are interested the Alzheimer’s society project link is very interesting.
http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=760 and shows a video of the project and has links explaining what it is.
I know a lot of people who have said sound effects their epilepsy, I found this newspaper review that explains what Musicophilia has to say about Alzheimers and epilepsy.
If anyone wants to borrow my copy just let me now and I can lend it to you when it gets back to me!
‘Sacks tells some very moving stories about those with terrifyingly profound amnesia, or Alzheimer’s disease, for whom music can “restore them to themselves”. People with aphasia can be taught to speak again through singing. On the other hand, previously healthy people begin to have “musical hallucinations”, blasted by intrusive ghostly music during every waking second; and others have seizures in response to music, or “musicogenic epilepsy” – which, intriguingly, can be selective. One woman Sacks cites “had seizures only in response to ‘modern, dissonant music,’ never in response to classical or romantic music” – and her husband was a composer of the type of music that gave her seizures, which one suspects may be a hint. But such a violent response to certain music might be more common than suspected: “Many people, [one researcher thought], might start to get a queer feeling – disturbing, perhaps frightening – when they heard certain music, but then would immediately retreat from the music, turn it off, or block their ears, so that they did not progress to a full-blown seizure.” Indeed, certain styles of free jazz have always made me physically nauseous.’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/nov/03/scienceandnature.music review Stephen Poole The Guardian Newspaper