Can music help fight dementia?

Researchers in the Midlands have been trying to find out how art and music can help in the fight against dementia. Credit: ITV News Central

Researchers in the Midlands have been trying to find out how art and music can help in the fight against dementia.

A partnership between the universities of Nottingham and Worcester received a £5m grant to explore the impact of the arts on people with dementia.

Anecdotal evidence shows that doing something creative can help engage people living with the disease, and even prompt them to remember things.

Experts in the field are worried that research into dementia is underfunded. Only 3% of the government’s medical research budget benefits dementia. And overall dementia research receives around seven times less funding than cancer.

Not enough money’s being put into research. We haven’t had any new drugs come to the market in the last ten years. Nobody survives the disease and nobody outlives it. We’re able to remediate some of the symptoms but I think the biggest tragedy is that we haven’t got enough research going in, we want to ensure there’s more research going in. But the most important thing is we don’t just want to look at drugs, we want to look at care as well. Until the day that we find a cure we want to make sure that the right care is given.”

Tim McLachlan, Alzheimer's Society

Professor Dawn Brooker leads a team of researchers at the university of Worcester. She says t’s important to understand how things like music, drama and art can help, and at what stages of the disease it works best.