Deficits in executive functioning are a common feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and result from impairment in the central executive system. As a result, elderly patients with early stage AD may require interventions that are more cognitively intense than traditional interventions. To address this need, in this multiple case study, we explored a dual-task-based music therapy intervention that involved drum playing and singing designed to induce attentional and motor controls. Three octogenarians diagnosed with early stage AD participated in 12 dual-task-based music therapy sessions over 6 weeks. Measures of executive functioning and the performance of a bimanual drum tapping task were evaluated before and after the intervention. Improvements in executive functioning were observed for participants A and C. After the intervention, reduced mean synchronization errors were found for the simultaneous tapping condition for all three participants. Although there was variability in the functional changes between participants, it is noteworthy that positive improvements in the elderly patients with early stage AD were obtained following dual-task-based music therapy. The results suggest that music therapy integrated into the dual-task paradigm can be an effective way to address degenerative cognitive deficits among elderly patients with early stage AD.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|State||Published - Oct 2022|
- drum playing
- early stage Alzheimer’s disease
- executive functioning
- music therapy