Associate professor Masayuki Sato, who leads the research team, also said exercising with music helps dementia patients maintain daily activities more than exercise alone. The team asked 31 people with mild to moderate symptoms of dementia living in the towns of Mihama and Kiho in the prefecture to conduct 40 minutes of exercise to the music once a week for six months. They sat on a chair and bent and stretched their arms and waists and stamped their feet along with pop music with varying tempos. The team said those who participated in the program managed to maintain their physical activity level regarding daily routines, including changing clothes, eating and taking a bath, better than another group of 31 dementia patients who were only engaged in brain training exercises such as playing games and solving math questions. "We believe that exercising along with music proved highly effective because it is more complicating than just moving your body," Sato said.
As part of her guest editorship of Today, Carey Mulligan explores the stigma associated with dementia and asks if more can be done to widen understanding of the disease. She is joined by Michael Parkinson, whose mother suffered from dementia, and Michael Palin, whose good friend and comedian-in-arms Terry Jones has frontotemporal dementia. They all say music is something their loved ones still react to.
A £2.7 million project aimed at transforming life for people living alone with dementia, is to be trialled in Cambridgeshire by Anglia Ruskin University music therapists. They will use artificial intelligence to adapt and personalise live radio to try and address the key causes of hospital admission for those suffering from dementia. Radio Me will tackle issues such as agitation and failing to take medication correctly and as a result, it is hoped quality of life will improve with people able to remain living independently at home for longer. Jörg Fachner, professor of music, Health and the brain at ARU, said: "Our role is to investigate precisely how people with dementia can benefit from this interactive radio experience. "Music therapists at ARU and partner organisations will use biomarker responses to fine-tune playlists in order to deliver emotional and cognitive stimulation, and evaluate exactly how interactive music interventions, using AI, can benefit people with dementia in their own homes and in assisted living environments." Professor Eduardo Miranda, from the University of Plymouth, added: "Radio Me builds on research carried out as part of our previous EPSRC-funded project into a brain computer music interface, as well as our work on artificial intelligence, music influencing emotion, and the University's long-running involvement in shaping national policy on dementia.
The government aims to train some 12 million people nationwide by the end of fiscal 2020 to give support to dementia patients, informed sources said. The new numerical target will be included in the "Orange Plan" national strategy on dementia care, compiled chiefly by the health ministry in 2015, the sources said Friday. Anyone can become a supporter for dementia sufferers after completing training programs offered by a local government or a company. The government initially set the goal of training 8 million people to give support to dementia patient by the end of fiscal 2017, which started April 1. But it raised the target because as of the end of fiscal 2016 8.8 million people had already become supporters, the sources said.