Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of a short protocol of music therapy as a tool to reduce stress and improve the emotional state in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.
Methods: A sample of 25 patients with mild Alzheimer's received therapy based on the application of a music therapy session lasting 60 min. Before and after the therapy, patient saliva was collected to quantify the level of salivary cortisol using the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) immunoassay technique and a questionnaire was completed to measure anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale).
Results: The results show that the application of this therapy lowers the level of stress and decreases significantly depression and anxiety, establishing a linear correlation between the variation of these variables and the variation of cortisol.
Conclusions: A short protocol of music therapy can be an alternative medicine to improve emotional variables in Alzheimer patients.
Keywords: Alzheimer's; anxiety; cortisol; depression; music therapy.