October 3, 2022

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Music for the elderly

The Bracco Foundation, in collaboration with the Maugeri IRCCS Clinical Scientific Institutes in Pavia, with the Giuseppe Verdi Institute of Music in Milan and the Violin Museum in Cremona, recently held three meetings on the therapeutic aspects of music, dedicated to health professionals. For most of the audience, the subject was very unfamiliar: while in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and France, a music therapist is a recognized assistant medical specialist with academic training. In Italy music therapy is a specialty with a special role in its education (the first course was activated in 1981 in Assisi by Pro Civitate Christiana).

For several years, the University of Pavia has been activating an annual Master in Music Therapy in collaboration with IRCCS Maugeri and the Istituto Ospedaliero di Sospiro (CR), which will train experts in “expressive vocal communication in the field of preventive rehabilitation” according to the standards approved by the Italian Association of Music Therapy Professionals (AIM). Conservatory graduates, graduates in the fields of health, rehabilitation, psychology, education and training sciences, cultural heritage and DAMS (Arts, Music and Entertainment majors) can register.

Already in 2008, the Veronesi Foundation established a working committee, with the participation of international experts, on the relationship between neuroscience and acoustic stimuli. It was known, in fact, that intervention techniques are called Neuro music therapy They have worked on the cognitive, motor, and sensory levels of some neurological diseases: numerous studies They documented it In relation to stroke, dementia, depression and even mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Subsequently, the Cochrane database was enriched with several randomized controlled studies documenting the potential of music in various clinical settings, including childhood learning disorders and wading And Lancet Posted by Review 73 studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of music in reducing postoperative pain.

Now, neuroimaging is able to reconstruct the music pathway in the nervous system from the auditory system to the frontal cortex, where it integrates with previously stored information and its conscious perception occurs. About this issue, the editorial written by pediatrician Franco Panizon in May 1997 for the magazine remains unforgettable doctor and childwho was its manager.

Music moves something deep inside. Anatomically and functionally, the “depth” lies in the most intimate part of the brain, the hypothalamus, which is the crossroads where the soul and body, so to speak, touch and overlap … the meeting point of the main driving pathways

It is from there that enkephalins are produced, physiological agonists of pain-suppressing opiate receptors, endorphins, ACTH and prolactin (it seems, in this, that mammals are united: in modern stables, in fact, the prevalence of classical music increases the amount of milk produced by cows). In that editorial, Banison, in particular, celebrated the surgical properties of singing, as a bodily labour, not without fatigue, and thus, in many respects, akin to exercise, and as regulating the tone, timbre, and rhythm of singing. Voice involves restraint in functions (breathing, tongue and epiglottis movements) that do not normally appear in consciousness, because they are entrusted to the autonomic nervous system. A bit like yoga, the singer approaches the introduction Control unitThat awareness of “the ability to do something to your body” is an integral part of the power of self-healing.

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However, in its narrowest sense, music therapy does not focus on the emotional, aesthetic, or erotic aspect of music, but on its structural parameters, starting with the assumption that particular rhythmic divisions or harmonies can serve to connect affected areas: for example, it has been observed that In Parkinson’s disease, a rhythm such as the tango rhythm can aid in walking rehabilitation. The concept of rhythm, that is, the succession of vocal accents over time, is subject to cultural differences, and rhythms in Western music seem to derive from the musical poetry of Greek civilization. However, there are two recent studies, Harvard university And from the University of ViennaPosted in Science, reopening the field of ethnographic research first discovered in Berlin in the early twentieth century by Karl Stumpf and crushed by the rise of Nazism in the 1930s, and found in 315 different cultures musical characteristics consistent with similar psychological features in contexts. For example, notes for dance or war songs are closer to each other than lullabies and love songs).

Currently, for treatment purposes, simplified music is being developed, consisting of an algorithm from an artificial intelligence system called health melomicsShe got pregnant at the University of Malaga. Alfredo Raglio, Head of the Research and Music Therapy Laboratory at IRCCS Maugeri, established in 2011 in Pavia, is among researchers studying a specific algorithm for each treatment need, in collaboration with other Italian and European institutions. In addition to fibromyalgia, Pavia researchers have already tested an algorithm that helps Relaxing work stress, which may be updated on the basis of data derived from the research. Tracks relaxing music And Pain relief musiccreated with the Melomics-Health algorithm, available on Spotify.

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The emotional and emotional aspect of a piece of music still matters when it comes to seniors with a more or less pronounced cognitive deficit. in one study Conducted in Taiwan, about 30 elderly people with dementia and residents of nursing homes were offered a half-hour afternoon to listen to their favorite music, twice a week for six weeks: at the end of the experiment, their anxiety level was significantly lower than that of the same number of Older people with the same psychosomatic and social status, but cared for without voice input. In this case, the music can act not directly, according to the brain units of the species, but indirectly, specific to a particular person, and bring to the surface a pleasant immersed memory. If so, the notes would constitute a kind of narrative element added to real-life stories (written or oral) in what is called “memories therapy”.

there Memories curecodified by the American Psychological Association (APA), was drawn up in the early 1960s by psychiatrist and geriatrician Robert Neil Butler, first director of the American National Institute on Aging and Pulitzer Prize winner in 1976 with the article Why do you survive? Being old in AmericaWhich highlighted the difficulties older people face (poverty, failure of the social security system, social isolation) in American society. Butler recognized that the tendency of older adults to recall past experiences should not be taken as an indication of their cognitive decline, but rather as a resource used to improve their mood, to reduce isolation and strengthen self-esteem and a sense of identity. Before it is fully compromised in late dementia, distant autobiographical memory compensates for the frustration of not being able to remember recent experiences. to me Cochrane review that evaluated data from controlled clinical trials conducted in different cultural contexts (Japan, UK, USA), the efficacy of memory therapy is uncertain for older adults with institutional depression, but greater for those who remained or who returned to a living environment family.

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In the most well-equipped housing for seniors (here, certainly futuristic), memory can be enhanced with virtual reality: in Australia, immersion in a satisfying environment thanks to head-worn technological devices (HMD, Head-mounted displays) He managed to collect from indifference Elderly patients with depression or dementia. In an accessible way, music can meet many of the care needs of older adults – some New York City hospitals, for example, Verified Transporting it in headphones (with a choice of five different types) for those waiting to be visited in the emergency room, eased their anxiety and desperation. Even against insomnia undoubtedly from the curses of old age, Music works sometimesif the listening in the evening is continuous and the choice falls on a piece that is melodic and not very rhythmic.