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"Alive Inside": Reaching Deep into the Alzheimer's Mind with Music 

Tuesday, Aug 5 2014
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It seems like a universal truth: Everybody loves music, and we all have certain songs that take us back to happier times. But as shown in Michael Rossato-Bennett's joyously tear-jerking documentary Alive Inside, it was borderline revolutionary when social worker Dan Cohen discovered that playing Alzheimer's patients beloved songs of their youth could bring their memories and personalities to the surface in a way that no drug ever has. It's a cost-effective solution that is largely disregarded by the health care-industrial complex, a deeply dysfunctional system in which a $1,000 prescription is considered more cost-effective than a $40 iPod that brings the patient out of his or her shell. Alive Inside demonstrates that for all the cultural hand-wringing about headphones cutting people off from each other, the stimulation can also keep us from falling too deep inside ourselves. Another important lesson of Alive Inside is to keep your personal music device loaded with what makes you happy — Cab Calloway, the Beatles, Hatsune Miku, whatever your jams may be — and don't ever let them take it away from you. (And stay to the end of the credits for more of viral sensation Henry's wonderful scatting.)

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Sherilyn Connelly

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