In Cochise County, there are 8,000 residents that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or some type of dementia, according to the latest U.S. Census.

To aid this great need, one regional Alzheimer’s Association chapter is hosting a forum to discuss issues that affect both sufferers and caregivers in continuance of this month’s Sierra Vista Annual Alzheimer’s Education Conference. Led by the Desert Southwest Chapter, the 23rd Annual Southern Arizona Conference will highlight and tackle issues that will affect rural suffers.

“In the past, we had caravans of attendees from Sierra Vista, Bisbee, and other parts of Cochise County,” said Morgen Hartford, the association's southern Arizona’s regional director.

One highlight of the event, coined “Connecting the Dots,” is David Coon’s research presentation titled: “Music and Memory: An Interprofessional Community-Level for People with ADRD (Alzheimer's disease and related dementias).”

Coon, an associate vice provost and professor at Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation, leads the Music and Memory Project with colleagues Robin Rio, director of the ASU Music Therapy Clinic in the School of Music and Marianne McCarthy, associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

The project is centered with musicians performing selections to dementia patients in senior living and assisted living facility.

Its data collected showed the effect of live music on the moods of residents, caregivers, musicians and loved ones before and after performances. Participants rated their own moods, while a nurse or activity coordinator evaluated the residents. Additionally, saliva samples from participants were taken before and after some symphony performances. Scientists from ASU’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research analyzed these samples for known biomarkers of stress, giving further insight into the effect of music on mood.

“The results showed positive across the board,” Hartford said. “I believe caregivers and patients alike will be quite interested in his presentation.”

The cost of the event is $45 for individuals and $75 for professionals. Seating is limited to 350 people.

For more information or to register, call 520-322-6601 or email


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