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Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. 2015 Sep 4;5(3):296-308. doi: 10.1159/000436960. eCollection 2015 Sep-Dec.

Music Therapy Using Singing Training Improves Psychomotor Speed in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease: A Neuropsychological and fMRI Study.

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Department of Dementia Prevention and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan.
Department of Music, Faculty of Education, Mie University, Tsu, Japan.
Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Mie University, Tsu, Japan.



To investigate the effect of singing training on the cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients.


Ten AD patients (mean age 78.1 years) participated in music therapy using singing training once a week for 6 months (music therapy group). Each session was performed with professional musicians using karaoke and a unique voice training method (the YUBA Method). Before and after the intervention period, each patient was assessed by neuropsychological batteries, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed while the patients sang familiar songs with a karaoke device. As the control group, another 10 AD patients were recruited (mean age 77.0 years), and neuropsychological assessments were performed twice with an interval of 6 months.


In the music therapy group, the time for completion of the Japanese Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices was significantly reduced (p = 0.026), and the results obtained from interviewing the patients' caregivers revealed a significant decrease in the Neuropsychiatric Inventory score (p = 0.042) and a prolongation of the patients' sleep time (p = 0.039). The fMRI study revealed increased activity in the right angular gyrus and the left lingual gyrus in the before-minus-after subtraction analysis of the music therapy intervention.


Music therapy intervention using singing training may be useful for dementia patients by improving the neural efficacy of cognitive processing.


Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Music therapy; Psychomotor speed; Singing training

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