World Alzheimer's Day: Tune Out Noise Pollution With Music To Lower Your Risk Of Dementia

Today, on World Alzheimer’s Day, pledge to protect your loved one from noise pollution to lower their risk of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurologic disorder, is today more common today among the elderly population than in earlier times. In this condition, the brain cells die and there is atrophy of the brain. It is one of the leading causes of dementia. India, with an increasing population of the elderly, is one country that is seeing a higher incidence of this disease in recent times. A person with Alzheimer’s disease suffers a drastic decline in quality of life. Their thinking capacity is affected, and one can easily see a continuous decline in thinking, behavioural and social skills. According to many health experts, exposure to noise pollution, among other things, may increase the risk of dementia, which is caused due to Alzheimer’s disease. But then, listening to music may offset this risk. Today, on the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day, we bring you the results of a new study, which studies the effects of constant exposure to traffic noise among aged population and how it increases their risk of dementia.

Noise pollution and cognitive health

According to Sritheja Reddy, Consultant Neurologist, Gleneagles Global Hospital, “Cities are usually bustling with great activity during the day times and in the nights, but this could increase exposure to excessive noise, that can lead to short term impairments in cognitive function, particularly with respect to the ability to focus and remember. And the most important aspect here is that chronic exposure to noise pollution may increase the risk for dementia.” Dr Reddy goes on to say that music can have a positive impact on people who are at risk. Music has a soothing effect on individuals of all ages, but loud and persistent noise can cause mental disturbance. He warned that loud noise can trigger symptoms of dementia earlier in Alzheimer’s patients.

Music offers emotional, behavioural benefits

Musical sounds and tunes can positively affect people suffering from dementia, which is caused by Alzheimer’s disease. According to Dr Abhinay M. Huchche, Consultant Neurologist, SLG Hospitals, “Listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioural benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer’s disease because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.”

What you can do to protect a loved one

It is a fact that all ageing patients need extra attention due to deteriorating physical and mental health, which is common in old age. But dementia patients need something extra. They also need proper evaluation and management of the disease via a multidisciplinary approach. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause for dementia. Since sound pollution is a contributing factor to dementia, you must ensure that your aged relative or family member is protected from loud noises. This will help delay the onset of dementia to a great extent.

Another thing that you must do is ensure that your loved one gets proper sleep. Sleep disturbances is also another risk factor for the development of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease. Proper sleep is essential for mental and cognitive restoration. This often happens because of increased oxidative stress, which causes alterations in the immune system and increased systemic inflammation.

World Alzheimer’s Day first appeared on The Health Site

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