GP advises fellow doctors to urge patients to SING to ease the symptoms of dementia and Parkinson’s

  • Music therapy suggested as alternative medicine for dementia sufferers
  • Dr Simon Opher said he sees patients ‘less often’ if they join a choir or group
  • He also claimed that singing increases blood flow to certain areas of the brain

A GP has called for doctors to prescribe singing as an alternative to medicine. Dr Simon Opher said he sees patients less often if they join a music group or a choir because singing has a wide range of health and social benefits.

Music therapy has already been used successfully in care homes for those with dementia and singing can also help people with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr Opher, from Gloucestershire, told the Cheltenham Science Festival: ‘People see me less if they start singing.

Music therapy has already been used successfully in care homes for those with dementia and singing can also help people with Parkinson’s disease (stock photo)

‘As a doctor I think you’ve really got to persuade the medical profession of the benefit and that can take some doing.

‘But if doctors are listening, it’s really important you start thinking about these types of remedies because it makes a patient better in lots of ways.

‘In dementia there is some evidence that when we sing there is an area of our brain that gets more blood flow.

‘When you hear a song it sometimes does something weird to you. That feeling is really important and awakens patients with dementia, makes them feel more involved.’

Singing can help people with Parkinson’s because it improves the loudness of their voice, which can be weakened by the disease, Dr Opher said.

Dr Opher, from Gloucestershire, told the Cheltenham Science Festival: ‘People see me less if they start singing’ (stock photo)

 

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