At Wednesday 23 Oct, Teppo Särkämö from Helsinki, gave a very interesting lecture at the "Culture and Health"-series about music in stroke rehabilitation and treatment of dementia-patients. In controlled studies, music listening but not literature listening had significant effects after stroke. Both listening to music and singing improved cognitive skills in dementia patients.
Teppo Särkämö from Helsinki/Jyväskylä has made groundbreaking research in using cultural stimuli to help the brain regain functions after a stroke. Dr. Särkämö works as an Academy of Finland post-doctoral researcher at the Cognitive Brain Research Unit (Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki) and at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research (University of Jyväskylä). Dr. Särkämö’s research focuses on the neural mechanisms of music and speech perception (and their disorders, namely amusia and aphasia), neuroplasticity of auditory and cognitive functions, and the use of music-based interventions in various neurological illnesses (e.g., stroke, dementia, and traumatic brain injury).
Sarkamo et al, Music and Speech Listening Enhance the Recovery of Early Sensory Processing after Stroke. J Cogn Neurosci 22:2716 (2010)
Sarkamo et al, Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke. Brain 131:866 (2008)
In his presentation, Dr Särkämö showed a number of videos. Some of then, You can see here: