Mount Sinai Health System
Program: Arts in Health
Area of Work: Arts
Grant Purpose: Music Therapy and the Brain: Alzheimer’s Study
The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is a comprehensive research facility and clinical program dedicated to the study and treatment of normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. With research into the causes of dementia, diagnostic services, and caregiver programs, the ADRC seeks to improve diagnosis, delay disease progression, and enhance the well-being of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Purpose: To conduct a research study on Music Experiences and Therapy for Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its prodromal phase, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), are an urgent health crisis affecting five million Americans, and as our population ages, rates of these illnesses will continue to rise. There is no cure for AD or MCI, and current therapeutics have limited effect. Preliminary studies have suggested a link between music therapy and improved cognitive symptoms and quality of life measures in patients with AD or MCI.
With support from the Illumination Fund, Mount Sinai is further exploring the connection between music therapy and the brain. The new research study is examining a specific approach to music therapy — “home-based supportive supervised singing” coupled with individualized music therapy — to assess its potential to improve cognition, behavior and functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s.
The study will measure a) memory b) language b) attention c) executive function d) caregiver burden e) performance in activities of daily living and f) emotional and psychiatric symptomatology. Music and experiences will be identified through a therapeutic interview with a music therapist. The music, known as “Song of Kin,” are songs that are identified in a one-on-one session with the participant and are commonly associated with their preferences from late adolescence and early adulthood.
The research team consists of faculty and staff from The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine (LACMM) at Beth Israel Mount Sinai.
Recruitment of study participants began in 2019 and will be on a rolling basis in order to build a sufficient number of participants for statistical significance.