Q. There's talk locally about starting a community choir. I've always liked to sing in groups but our church long ago disbanded the choir—which is too bad. Do you think joining the community choir would benefit my brain?
A. Research led by Daisy Fancourt found that "singing modulates mood, stress, cortisol, cytokine and neuropeptide activity in cancer patients and carers." Members of the study group were "regular participants in five choirs across South Wales and took part in one hour of group singing." With the new discovery last fall that immune system lymph vessels run throughout the meninges (three coverings) of the brain, whatever benefits your immune system likely benefits the brain, as well. Anecdotally, it appears that many community and church choirs have gone by the board...too bad, in light of this research. You might want to read the abstract yourself.