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Active music-making can provide cognitive benefits to older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia, according to an analysis of all relevant studies. The analysis, which is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, also found that music may help improve their quality of life and mood.

The analysis included nine studies with a total of 495 participants. The authors noted that music-based interventions could potentially provide millions of older adults with critical support for their cognitive, emotional, and social well-being.

"We are excited to see these results because participating in music, like singing in a choir or playing in a drum circle, is a safe, engaging activity that our research demonstrates can support cognition at a critical time for facing cognitive decline," said lead author Jennie L. Dorris, MM, of the University of Pittsburgh.

More information: Jennie L. Dorris et al. Effects of music participation for mild cognitive impairment and dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society DOI: 10.1111/jgs.17208

Journal information: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

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