- With Mayo Clinic clinical neuropsychologist
Glenn Smith, Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Glenn Smith, Ph.D.Glenn Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Glenn Smith is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Smith, a Lincoln, Neb., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1990 and works with neurologists, psychiatrists, internists, social workers and nurses involved in diagnosing and providing care for people with dementia and their families.
"For Alzheimer's disease, there is currently no cure," he says. "The best "medicine" for patient and family remains education and support. Hopefully, Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's disease Web resources contribute to compassionate care and understanding for Alzheimer's families."
Dr. Smith is a professor of psychology at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, a division co-chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, and principal investigator of the Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Education and Information Transfer Core. He is past president of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology and the Clinical Neuropsychology Division of the American Psychological Association.
Risk factors (2)
- Oophorectomy (ovary removal): A risk factor for dementia?
- Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase my risk?
- Sundowning: Late-day confusion
Tests and diagnosis (2)
- Rapidly progressing Alzheimer's: Something else?
- Alzheimer's test: Detection at the earliest stages
- Phantosmia: What causes olfactory hallucinations?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Folic acid supplements: Can they slow cognitive decline?
- Vitamin B-12: Can it improve memory in Alzheimer's?
- Alzheimer's nose spray: New Alzheimer's treatment?
Lifestyle and home remedies (2)
- Alzheimer's: Can a Mediterranean diet lower my risk?
- Music and Alzheimer's: Can it help?
Alternative medicine (5)
- Phosphatidylserine supplements: Can they improve memory?
- Vitamin B-12: Can it improve memory in Alzheimer's?
- Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
- see all in Alternative medicine
Coping and support (1)
- Elder care for Alzheimer's: Choosing a provider
- Alzheimer's disease: Can exercise prevent memory loss?
- Alzheimer's prevention: Does it exist?
- Benefits of being bilingual: Delay Alzheimer's?
Music and Alzheimer's: Can it help?
How can music help people who have Alzheimer's disease?
from Glenn Smith, Ph.D.
Limited research suggests that listening to music can benefit people who have Alzheimer's disease in various ways.
For example, music can:
- Relieve stress
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Reduce agitation
Music can also benefit caregivers by reducing anxiety, lightening the mood and providing a way to connect with loved ones who have Alzheimer's disease — especially those who have difficulty communicating.
If you'd like to use music to help a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease, consider these tips:
- Think about your loved one's preferences. What kind of music does your loved one enjoy? What music evokes memories of happy times in his or her life? Involve family and friends by asking them to suggest songs or make playlists.
- Set the mood. To calm your loved one during mealtime or a morning hygiene routine, play music or sing a song that's soothing. When you'd like to boost your loved one's mood, use faster paced music.
- Avoid overstimulation. When playing music, eliminate competing noises. Turn off the TV. Shut the door. Set the volume based on your loved one's hearing ability. Opt for music that isn't interrupted by commercials, which can cause confusion.
- Encourage movement. Help your loved one to clap along or tap his or her feet to the beat. If possible, dance with your loved one.
- Pay attention to your loved one's response. If your loved one seems to enjoy particular songs, play them often. If your loved one reacts negatively to a particular song or type of music, choose something else.
Keep in mind that music might not affect your loved one's behavior or quality of life and that further research on music and Alzheimer's disease is needed.Next question
Phosphatidylserine supplements: Can they improve memory?
- Chatterton W. The singer of the singing: Who sings individually to persons with dementia and what are the effects? American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias. 2010;25:641.
- Ho S, et al. The effects of researcher-composed music at mealtime on agitation in nursing home residents with dementia. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 2011;25:e49.
- Wollen KA. Alzheimer's disease: The pros and cons of pharmaceutical, nutritional, botanical, and stimulatory therapies, with a discussion of treatment strategies from the perspective of patients and practitioners. Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutic. 2010;15:223.
- The effects of music therapy on reducing agitation in patients with Alzheimer's disease: A pre-post study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2010;25:1309.
- Simmons-Stern NR, et al. Music as a memory-enhancer in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia. 2010;48:3164.
- Witzke J, et al. How sweet the sound: Research evidence for the use of music in Alzheimer's dementia. Journal of Gerontological Nursing. 2008;34:45.
- Sung HC, et al. Use of preferred music to decrease agitated behaviours in older people with dementia: A review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2005;9:1133.
- Music, art and Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-music-art-therapy.asp. Accessed July 16, 2012.
- Caregivers take note — Music as therapy. Alzheimer's Association. http://blog.alz.org/caregivers-take-note-music-as-therapy. Accessed July 16, 2012.