Posted on March 6, 2010 at 5:50 PM******
Two years ago, Rosemary Page could barely speak after a stroke. Today, she has sentences, and that began as songs.
Music therapist Jenny Rook says Rosemary's stroke caused what's called expressive aphasia.
"The capacity to produce music and musical phrases is not damaged so people with aphasia are usually able to sing songs when they can't talk," said music therapist Jenny Rook.
An everyday phrase set to music retrains the brain to find a new way to talk.
"So when there's a damaged area that's inhibiting speech, music can typically go around those damaged areas," said Rook.
If Ted Rubinstein were in fact a patient, singing with a therapist, the act of singing would ignite his memory far more than finishing a spoken sentence.
"We use melody to help somebody remember the word that they know they know. But they can't form it. Every time we hear music, a new neuro pathway is being created," said Rubinstein.
New research also shows that music improves motor skills in Parkinson's patients, sparks memories in those with Alzheimer's, and can even help kids with attention deficit disorder.