PRESERVATION AND EFFICACY OF MUSIC AND SINGING IN AGEING, APHASIA, AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (PREMUS)

PI Teppo Särkämö

Time frame 2019–2023

Description In severe ageing-related neurological disorders, such as post-stroke aphasia and Alzheimer’s
disease (AD) dementia, music and singing can provide a valuable alternative route to verbal and emotional expression and to memory and self-awareness. The large PREMUS project is a collection of four studies that aim to determine (i) the effect of normal ageing and singing experience on the neural processing of singing and speech perception and production, (ii) the long-term efficacy of senior choir singing on cognitive, emotional, and social functioning in normal ageing, (iii) the neural basis of the preservation of singing ability and the efficacy of singing-based rehabilitation in aphasia, and (iv) the neural basis of the preservation of music-evoked emotions and memories in different stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Methods: Randomized controlled trial (RCT), longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, event-related potentials (ERP), the mismatch negativity (MMN), electroencephalography (EEG), structural neuroimaging measures (sMRI, DTI, VBM, VLSM), functional MRI fMRI), neuropsychological/perceptual/cognitive/behavioral tests, questionnaires on mood, communication and quality of life.

Keywords Singing, music, ageing, aphasia, Alzheimer’s disease, rehabilitation, neuroplasticity

People Aleksi Sihvonen, Noelia Martinez Molina, Lilli Kimppa, Sini-Tuuli Siponkoski, Emmi Pentikäinen, Anni Pitkäniemi, Nella Moisseinen, Tommi Makkonen, Jaakko Kauramäki

Collaborators Dr. Susanna Melkas (University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital); Dr.
Johanna Pekkola, Dr. Viljami Sairanen & MSci Linda Kuusela (HUS Medical Imaging Centre); Dr. Petri
Paavilainen, Prof. Martti Vainio, and Dr. Leena Tuomiranta (University of Helsinki), Prof. Seppo Soinila and
Prof. Riitta Parkkola (Turku University Hospital and University of Turku); Prof. Matti Laine (Åbo Akademi
University); Music therapist Sari Laitinen (Espoo Hospital); Singing teacher Essi-Reetta Särkämö (Helsinki
Adult Education Centre); Prof. Petri Toiviainen, Prof. Jaakko Erkkilä and Prof. Jukka Louhivuori (University of Jyväskylä), Prof. Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells (University of Barcelona, Spain), Prof. Gottfried Schlaug (Harvard Medical School, USA), Prof. David Copland (University of Queensland, Australia), Prof. Julene K. Johnson (University of California San Francisco, USA), Dr. Jeanette Tamplin (University of Melbourne, Australia), Prof. Boris Kleber (Aarhus University, Denmark), Prof. Pablo Ripolles (New York University, USA).
Funding European Research Council (ERC)