LOS ANGELES, CA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease in America. More than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide. In the United States, 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year.
These neurological disorders are life changing and will ultimately end your life. While there are no cures for these conditions, there are things that can help patients lead more fulfilling lives; a woman harnesses the power of music to help mend spirits.
All of these people regained their voices after losing their memory.
“You watch the power of music changing the chemistry of the brain,” says Carol Rosenstein, founder of Music Mends Minds.
Rosenstein witnessed firsthand the power of music, “My 38-year-old darling Irwin was a musician.”
As Parkinson’s disease and dementia robbed Irwin of his ability to remember or communicate, music became their connection.
Rosenstein says that “when he played the piano and felt very weak in about 10 or 15 minutes, I would see him come back to life. And reconnect with the environment, just as if he were taking a dose of medication.
The experiment led Rosenstein to start 5th Dementia, a group for Irwin and others with neurodegenerative diseases.
Sam Namer, 95, began to lose his memory seven years ago.
“I’m so sad to think about it,” says Sam’s wife, Paula. She has also witnessed the impact of music on her husband. She goes on to say, “It lights up, it lights up and we laugh and we sing. The most fabulous thing, what it does to the brain. All neurons come alive, and you know, all endorphins are buzzing. It’s like good sex. You know you come from, whoa, what is it.
“The music storage cells in our brains never die. And these cells are responsible for the memory of music. And that’s the miracle our platform has developed on, ”Rosenstein says of the impact of music on the brain.
Rosenstein expanded the group by starting Music Mends Minds, a nonprofit organization that creates music support groups for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
You can see the transformation. At the start of a session with David, a parkinsonian. After finding his rhythm, he becomes able to communicate more clearly.
Seeing results like this over and over again, Rosenstein knew she couldn’t let the covid stop their progress. “We started Zoom, Zoom everywhere.” And now, hundreds of people from all over the world are participating.
Rosenstein explains, “It’s a love story from start to finish. And that’s how we’ve nurtured a global audience through covid. “
As for Irwin, even at the end of his life, his failing body could still find its rhythm. Rosenstein shares: “The pace kept us going until the end of time, what a gift.”
Music Mends Minds has partnered with national rotating clubs to invite even more people to participate and will also be available on Roku. Music Mends Minds meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:30 a.m. PT, on Zoom. To register, go to www.musicmendsminds.org.
Contributors to this report include: Marsha Lewis, producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor. To receive a free weekly email about Ivanhoe’s Smart Living, subscribe to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk
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