Musical Engagement of Brain Lobes in Alzheimer's Disease Patients Study (MELODY)

  • End date
    May 25, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Medical University of South Carolina
Updated on 25 May 2022
mini-mental state examination
alzheimer's disease
mental state examination


This is a randomized, cross-over study to measure global and clinical impact and level of arousal in subjects suffering from moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease when exposed to emotionally impactful music compared to control intervention. In partnership with the study partner (a person who spends 10 hours or more a week with the subject and can reliably report on the subject's condition), three tunes will be chosen for the purposes of the study. The tunes chosen will need to be related to a past meaningful, positive experience of the subject, as determined by the subject and the subject's study partner. The pieces will be restricted in duration to between 1.5 and 2 minutes each. A piece will be chosen at random and will be saved on a portable device, and subjects will be asked to listen to the melody using high quality, over-ear headphones. The total exposure time will be 10 minutes each hour over a three-hour period. The melody will be repeated as many times as necessary to complete the 10-minute period. The control intervention will involve listening to nature sounds at the same duration and administration scheme. Functional magnetic resonance imaging will be used to identify how brain networks are modulated via exposure to this music and how they associate with the clinical findings.

Condition Alzheimer Disease, Dementia, Music Therapy
Treatment Nature sounds, Preferred Music
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05309369
SponsorMedical University of South Carolina
Last Modified on25 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Provision of signed and dated informed consent form
Person of any sex/gender aged between 55 and 90
Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the duration of the study
In the opinion of the investigator, has an informant able and willing to provide accurate information about the participant (may be paid or unpaid caregiver)
Suffer from moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease as established by the study team using the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke/Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA) Alzheimer's Criteria for possible and probable Alzheimer's Disease
Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or other type of dementia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V)
Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 5-20
Subject is reported by the study partner to be able to listen to a minimum of 10 minutes of music and a sound in an uninterrupted manner

Exclusion Criteria

Suffer from severe hearing impairment as reported by the informant
Presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia as determined by clinical observation by the Principal Investigator, including history of agitation and/or combative behavior
Individuals who score ≥ 12 seconds on the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test
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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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