‘Powerful and very transformative.’ Young at Heart concert series in Stony Brook helps seniors with memory problems

Stony Brook’s Jazz Loft uses music to help seniors suffering from amnesia.

The Jazz Loft founder Tom Manuel said:

Manuel says he saw non-verbal people smiling as they learned the song 20 minutes after the concert.

Studies have shown that the parts of the brain that allow people to enjoy music are preserved even as cognitive regions of the brain decline with age.

“When patients with memory problems or older people hear music that they remember when they were 14 or 15 years old, that music has a lot of memories associated with it,” says an assistant professor at Stony Brook University. Markus Riessland said.

“They come back and are present again, even if other memories are lost.”

Music is not a panacea for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of amnesia, but senior citizens who have attended concerts say it’s great for their hearts and souls.

Smithtown’s Joanne Nappy said, “It makes me happy and makes me want to hear that music again.” “I’m 90 and that’s the music of my time.”

The Young at Heart Concert Series offers a different musical theme each month.

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