Integrating Music-based Interventions With Gamma-frequency Stimulation: Implications for Healthy Ageing


European Journal of Neuroscience




In recent years, music-based interventions (MBIs) have risen in popularity as a non-invasive, sustainable form of care for treating dementia-related disorders, such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite their clinical potential, evidence regarding the efficacy of MBIs on patient outcomes is mixed. Recently, a line of related research has begun to investigate the clinical impact of non-invasive Gamma-frequency (e.g., 40 Hz) sensory stimulation on dementia. Current work, using non-human-animal models of AD, suggests that non-invasive Gamma-frequency stimulation can remediate multiple pathophysiologies of dementia at the molecular, cellular and neural-systems scales, and, importantly, improve cognitive functioning. These findings suggest that the efficacy of MBIs could, in theory, be enhanced by incorporating Gamma-frequency stimulation into current MBI protocols. In the current review, we propose a novel clinical framework for non-invasively treating dementia-related disorders that combines previous MBIs with current approaches employing Gamma-frequency sensory stimulation. We theorize that combining MBIs with Gamma-frequency stimulation could increase the therapeutic power of MBIs by simultaneously targeting multiple biomarkers of dementia, restoring neural activity that underlies learning and memory (e.g., Gamma-frequency neural activity, Theta-Gamma coupling), and actively engaging auditory and reward networks in the brain to promote behavioural change.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Behavioral State; Cognitive Abilities; Memory; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Noninvasive Procedures

Indexed Terms

Alzheimer Disease; Animals; Brain; Cognitive Dysfunction; Healthy Aging; Alzheimer's disease; Gamma stimulation; ageing; dementia; music-based interventions; neural oscillations

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

PubMed ID


Document Type