Music therapy is a potential intervention for cognition of Alzheimer's Disease: a mini-review

Transl Neurodegener. 2017 Jan 25;6:2. doi: 10.1186/s40035-017-0073-9. eCollection 2017.


Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a global health issue given the increasing prevalence rate and the limitations of drug effects. As a consequent, non-pharmacological interventions are of importance. Music therapy (MT) is a non-pharmacological way with a long history of use and a fine usability for dementia patients. In this review, we will summarize different techniques, diverse clinical trials, and the mechanisms of MT as it is helpful to the cognition in AD, providing reference for future research. Many articles have demonstrated that MT can reduce cognitive decline especially in autobiographical and episodic memories, psychomotor speed, executive function domains, and global cognition. MT is a promising intervention for strategy of dementia especially of AD and it must be started as early as possible. However, more evidences with prospective, randomized, blinded, uniform and rigorous methodological investigations are needed. And we should consider to combine MT with other cognitive stimulations such as dance, physical exercise, video game, art and so on.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Clinical trial; Cognition impairment; Music therapy (MT); Non-pharmacological intervention.

Publication types

  • Review