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Senior Helpers In-Home Elder Care of Lower and Upper Coastal Fairfield County, Milford and Orange, Connecticut, Believes Aging Musicians Have Sharp Brains

Playing a musical instrument throughout life may help fight cognitive decline as we age.Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT alzheimers, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT assisted living, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT at home care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT at home elderly care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT at home health care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT at home health services, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT at home senior care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT at home senior services, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT certified senior care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT companion care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT dementia, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT elder care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT eldercare, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT elderly care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT elderly caregivers, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT elderly home care, Lower Coastal Fairfield County CT home care for seniors, Lower Coastal Fairfield 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seniors, Orange CT home care, Orange CT home health services, Orange CT home health, Orange CT home helpers Orange CT home senior care, Orange CT home senior services, Orange CT in-home care, Orange CT in-home elderly care, Orange CT in-home health care, Orange CT in-home health services, Orange CT in-home senior care, Orange CT in-home senior services, Orange CT licensed senior care, Orange CT licensed senior services, Orange CT non-medical care, Orange CT senior assistance, Orange CT senior care assistance, Orange CT senior care services, Orange CT senior care, Orange CT senior caregivers, Orange CT senior companionship, Orange CT senior health services, Orange CT Senior Helpers, Orange CT senior home care services, Orange CT senior services, Orange CT sitter services, Orange CT sitters,  alzheimers,  assisted living,  at home care,  at home elderly care,  at home health care,  at home health services,  at home senior care,  at home senior services,  certified senior care,  companion care,  dementia,  elder care,  eldercare,  elderly care,  elderly caregivers,  elderly home care,  home care for seniors,  home care,  home health services,  home health,  home helpers  home senior care,  home senior services,  in-home care,  in-home elderly care,  in-home health care,  in-home health services,  in-home senior care,  in-home senior services,  licensed senior care,  licensed senior services,  non-medical care,  senior assistance,  senior care assistance,  senior care services,  senior care,  senior caregivers,  senior companionship,  senior health services,  Senior Helpers,  senior home care services,  senior services,  sitter services,  sitters Older musicians perform better on cognitive tests than individuals who did not play an instrument, according to a new study published in the April issue of Neuropsychology.

While much research has been done to determine the cognitive benefits of musical activity by children, this is the first study to examine whether those benefits can extend across a lifetime.

“Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging,” says lead researcher and clinical neuropsychologist Brenda Hanna-Pladdy of Emory University. “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 enrolled 70 individuals age 60-83 who were divided into three groups. The participants either had no musical training, one to nine years of musical study or at least 10 years of musical training. All of the participants had similar levels of education and fitness, and didn’t show any evidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cognitive performance was measured by testing brain functions that typically decline as the body ages, and more dramatically deteriorate in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The high-level musicians who had studied the longest performed the best on the cognitive tests, followed by the low-level musicians and non-musicians, revealing a trend relating to years of musical practice.

The high-level musicians had statistically significant higher scores than the non-musicians on cognitive tests relating to visuospatial memory, naming objects, and cognitive flexibility, or the brain’s ability to adapt to new information.

“Based on previous research and our study results, we believe that both the years of musical participation and the age of acquisition are critical,” Hanna-Pladdy says. “There are crucial periods in brain plasticity that enhance learning, which may make it easier to learn a musical instrument before a certain age and thus may have a larger impact on brain development.”

The preliminary study was correlational, meaning that the higher cognitive performance of the musicians couldn’t be conclusively linked to their years of musical study. Hanna-Pladdy, who has conducted additional studies on the subject, says more research is needed to explore that possible link.

The study was conducted with at the University of Kansas Medical Center. At the time of the study, Hanna-Pladdy was an assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a research faculty member of the Landon Center on Aging University of Kansas Medical Center. Study co-author and cognitive psychologist Alicia MacKay, also a former research assistant at the University of Kansas Medical Center, is now an assistant professor of psychology at Tulsa Community College.

More news from Emory: http://emoryhealth.org

About Senior Helpers:

Senior Helpers provides many in-home, caregiving services for the elderly in the Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Milford and Orange area.  We offer extensive in-home health care services for seniors who embrace their independence and the personal dignity that goes with it.  Our in-home care services are provided by bonded and insured caregivers all of whom pass a national background check.

If a senior family member needs in-home care services in Lower and Upper Coastal Fairfield County, Milford and Orange, we are an excellent choice with exemplary references.  In-home care is the compassionate choice for your elderly loved ones’ continued independent living. We promise we will do our best to make it a positive experience for them and you.  For more information, please visit: http://seniorhelpers.com/location/0909.

 

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