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SAM was featured on BBC spotlight news this week.

Groundbreaking “Brain Gym” called “SAM” (short for sing-along machine).

Globally there is a new case of dementia every four seconds, and by 2020 we will see nearly 70

million people living with the condition. Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health.

Dementia is on the whole a terminal condition which wrecks lives, and creates an ever increasing cost burden to health authorities worldwide, A key goal of the G8 is to find a way to delay the onset by 2 years, this would have a great bearing on millions of lives worldwide. And a huge cost saving to health authorities both nationally and internationally.

Dr Doris Bersing Phd ( ) wrote a paper entitled

“Helping Professionals and Family Members Understand Elders Living with Dementia”

Her research claimed that “Regularly playing a musical instrument could delay the onset of

dementia for up to five years” this exceeded the the time sought by the G8. But posed a umber of issues, the main one being, “How would we suddenly get millions of ageing people from different educational and socio-economic backgrounds to suddenly learn to read music and

play a musical instrument?

This was a challenge welcomed by small but innovative, Cornish based “Universal Therapies Ltd”

After much thought they pioneered a new and groundbreaking “Brain Gym” called “SAM” (short

for sing-along machine).

Managing Director Richard Woods said “We already understood the principles of how music works upon the brain, when we play and sing together, our brains have to process information such as how high or low is the note? How long do we play it for? How do we string these notes together? What is the tune? What is the harmony? What are the words? What memories do these songs have for me? And much more”

Universal Therapies determined that the answer to the problem would be an application that could be put onto a touch screen tablet, this app would be a basic musical instrument that Would use colour in place of manuscript, the user could select a pre programmed song, or use a freestyle mode to create there own. The app would contain a selection of popular lyrics and styles. To account for differing voices, the pitch could be adjusted, as could the tempo or speed of the music. And best of all, the App could be offered at a nominal price, this would make it affordable to many people around the world.

Early testing showed remarkable results, so good that Universal therapies sent a copy to Dr Doris Bersing. Dr Bersing agreed that the SAM app was indeed an answer to problems posed by her earlier paper, she sent the following endorsement. ( see attached file)

SAM is now available on the apple app store, links and further information can be found on

universal therapies website

Operations Director Lloyd Harris said “This is a very exciting time, We believe that SAM will delay the onset of dementia, and improve the quality of life for people with dementia, it is important that all claims can be verified. we are currently working with health professionals in order to produce a series of case studies and evaluations. The results of our short term studies will be available later this year. Our longer term evaluations, by their nature will take 7-10 years.

We invite the department for health to help us with these evaluations. We hope that they agree that SAM can delay the onset of dementia, and improve the quality of life for people with dementia”

Director of Music Mr Greg Woods said “ I see the benefits of music daily, indeed there are many

eminent studies that have shown music to be a cost effective “super food” for the brain” I have

been trialling SAM in its various forms and evolutions for the last 4 years, the results have been

amazing. In early stage dementia, most people have no problem grasping the concept, and are often playing within minutes, when asked “How did this make you feel” they often reply “Happy, or make remarks like, this really makes my brain work”

How does SAM work? I am a musician not a doctor, but feel that, when people have dementia or trauma like aphasia, brain cells are damaged, and when brain cells die, they are referred to as tombstones. Each tombstone makes a break in the neural pathways, the connections from one brain cell to another are broken. SAM seems to help new pathways to form. It is widely accepted that people with a stammer can sing perfectly, this is because we use many area's of the brain to process music. SAM exercises these area's and gives the brain a great workout, I welcome an independent study perhaps by the department for health.

Managing Director Mr Richard Woods stated, “ We could have held the release of SAM back for

7-10 years, the time we feel would be needed for a full medical evaluation, but we would have to live with the many lives that might have been shortened, families distressed, quality of life

affected. Indeed even the additional cost burdens to health services around the world. SAM is

simple, SAM is cheap to roll out. SAM is international. We are currently working on different versions of SAM that will encompass many genre's and languages. We are delighted by the help we have received from the Cornwall Development Company who have helped us to source European convergence funding, and look forward to any help or assistance that Mr Jeremy Hunt could offer via the Department for Health”

Further information can be found

on the company's website

or by emailing


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