Viral videos show transformative power of music for Alzheimer's patients
Two viral videos showcase the impressive effect music has on patients living with the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
The sound of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" prompted Alzheimer’s patient Marta Gonzalez to perform her role as a prima ballerina.
Gonzalez danced with the New York City Ballet in the 1960s. She stunned the world in a video that has since gone viral.
"This is like organomic motor memory coming to play,” says Dr. Concetta Tomaino, of Mount Vernon’s Wartburg Assisted Living Facility.
Tomaino has been studying the impact of music on Alzheimer’s patients for 42 years. Tomaino says, "The music triggers parts of the brain that are still very well-preserved, in people with Alzheimer's disease."
Another viral sensation is 92-year-old Elaine Leber. The former professional pianist is currently battling dementia and wowed the audience at her Massachusetts nursing home by performing Beethoven’s "Moonlight Sonata."
The production was flawless, and fans were stunned when she uttered, “I don’t know it,” before playing it without skipping a beat.
Dr. Tomaino worked with Glen Campbell, who had Alzheimer's, and attended his farewell tour at the Peekskill Paramount Theatre in 2012 before Campbell's death.
"During his concerts, as long as he played on the instruments the guitars for each song that was the same that he was used to, he was able to play it right through without a mistake," says Dr. Tomaino.
Although Campbell lost his battle with Alzheimer’s in 2017 and Gonzalez died in 2019, the profound effect music had on their lives will forever be remembered.