If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare
It's not surprising that sudden feelings of joy, contentedness, or relaxation can be conjured by a particular song coming on the radio. Our brains connect music with memories, reminding us of good times at parties, weddings, road trips with friends, touching movies, and more. When music is played, our brains light up with activity. It releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that tells us something is pleasurable and regulates emotional responses and motivation.
Over the last 20 years, research has started to pick up on the relationship between music and Alzheimer's disease and related dementia patients. The results are clear: music can be a viable alternative therapy to calm agitated patients and bring joy back into their lives.