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5 Reasons Why Music Is the Real Fountain of Youth

Society is obsessed with youth — so much so that one of the largest technology companies in the world, Google, recently acquired a new company, called Calico, devoted to tackling the issues of aging.

But can science really turn back the clock’s hands, or is humanity still searching for Herodotus’ magical “waters of life”?

One key to re-connecting with our youth may be closer than it seems. A series of recent studies lend credence to the idea that music could be the next best thing to finding the real “Fountain of Youth.”

Here are 5 incredible ways music helps us stay young and healthy:

Improves immunity: Listening to upbeat music for less than an hour is enough to decrease immunity-suppressing stress hormones and increase the number of antibodies in the blood, according to a study conducted by Sussex University and the Max Planck Institute. Researchers only tested the effects of lively music, and theorize that personal preferences and exposure to other genres might impact an individual’s response; “We’d expect that different kinds of music might show different physiological and immunological effects,” says Ronny Enk, study author and neurocognition expert at Max Planck. “Not only the music itself is important but probably the personal appraisal of the listener will also be important.”

Combats cognitive decline: McGill University researchers found that the human brain releases dopamine—a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of reward and pleasure, and facilitates the creation of long-term memories—both during, and in anticipation of, jamming out to good tunes. Natural decreases in the number of dopamine-producing cells is thought to contribute to age-related decline in memory and cognition. But studies have shown that artificially increasing the supply of dopamine in an elderly individual’s brain can help them form stronger memories.

Keeps depression at bay: People with major depressive order age faster than their non-depressed counterparts. But a review of 17 different studies on music and depression led analysts from the National University of Singapore to conclude that jamming out just once a week may reduce symptoms of depression.

Beefs up the brains circuits: Individuals exposed to even a minor amount of musical training in their youth may derive benefit years later, according to Northwestern University researchers who found that even individuals who hadn’t touched an instrument in decades were able to process sounds faster than those who’d never played a tune. Hearing troubles are one of the most prevalent problems of aging, but study authors believe that music training could be the key to helping older adults hold onto their hearing for longer.

Enlivens those with Alzheimers: Alzheimer’s is one of the most feared diseases of aging. Individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia face the gradual erosion of their mental abilities. But recent research from George Mason University indicates that singing along—not just listening—to hits from classical movies, such as The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Oklahoma, may increase cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s patients. The positive effects were especially profound in those in the moderate to severe stages of the disease. The power of music to help people with Alzheimer’s has long been acknowledged. Check out the video above that shows how a simple song can make all the difference in the world to someone with Alzheimer’s.

Music won’t reverse all the ravages of aging, nor can it stave off deadly disease, but it can dampen the effects of the encroaching years, and has an innate power to uplift and inspire that should not be ignored.

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Read more: Aging, Alternative Therapies, Alzheimer's, Depression, Health, Healthy Aging, Videos, , , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

151 comments

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4:18AM PST on Feb 7, 2014

Thank you AgingCare.com, for Sharing this!

10:03AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Music is the best nutrient of the soul, music uplifts the spirit, music is the spiritual path for experience the transcendental. I could not live without music.

4:44AM PST on Dec 19, 2013

This was interesting news. I had absolutely no idea!
To play an instrument is said to prevent dementia, but all the other benefits mentioned her .
Finally some good health advice that demands nothing from me other than listening to music.
Great!

2:06PM PST on Dec 17, 2013

dance like no ones watching :D

7:36PM PST on Dec 13, 2013

Music is therapeutic to our soul.

All I want for Christmas is (to buy myself) another Martin guitar!

6:23AM PST on Dec 13, 2013

Music....Sweet!

1:11PM PST on Dec 11, 2013

Love all kinds of music, playing it as well. Definitely adds a dimension to life. Thanks.

9:56AM PST on Dec 11, 2013

Love music, it feeds the soul most certainly.

9:24AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Music is the language of the soul. There is a wide variety of genre to choose from these days. I love classical music, but I also love popular music. As someone pointed out- the new kind of music brings out all screaming Mimis and sadly very annoying to those whose ears are more tuned in to calmer music.
Thank you for sharing- yes, it is always a good idea to give credit to others articles.

4:11AM PST on Dec 9, 2013

I love music, to me there is nothing as nice as driving on a highway listening to loud music and singing along, yes LOUD, because that way I can't hear how bad my singing is.
If one of my girls is in the car with me, I always get "Mom, act your age, puleaze!!"
I refuse and I'll keep singing till the day I die :D

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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