Tony Bennett's Battle With Alzheimer's Disease

What a great man and artist – what a life!

Neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin, author of the best sellers This Is Your Brain on Music and Successful Aging, points out that it is music’s primarily emotional appeal that enables it to tap memories not otherwise accessible to a mind afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease. Even severely affected patients are often able to recall the lyrics and melodies to songs they loved in adolescence, a time of high emotionality and self-discovery when the developing brain “tags” memories as particularly salient and important. This would go far to explain the astonishing fact that after his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, Tony Bennett continued to tour extensively, singing his 90-minute set of sophisticated music with such panache, precision and professionalism that audiences and critics never suspected his condition.