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Music Soothes and Improves the Stroke Patient

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:31 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Head Injury, Heart Attack and Stroke

Music improve recovery after a stroke perhaps increasing the brain nerve connections.

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It makes sense, a little Beethoven is good for the brain according to a Finnish study.

And for people recovering from a stroke, a little music can help improve verbal memory, mood and recovery. 

A stroke occurs when the blood to the brain is blocks and brain tissues die. Patients are left with disabled motor function, speech and sometimes cognitive function. Stroke is a leading killer.

This study, published Wednesday, in the Oxford University Press Journal, Brain,  involved 60 stroke victims who recently had a stroke in the middle cerebral artery on the left or right sides of the brain. The group listened to music that they selected for a few hours every day. They were compared to a group of stroke patients who did not listen to music.

Both groups got standard rehabilitation therapy.  The music patients showed a 60 percent improvement in verbal memory and to performing mental tasks after three months. The no-music group had a 29 percent improvement in verbal memory.

Interestingly, those who listened to audio books had the lowest percent of improvement – 18 percent.

Music also increases the ability to focus attention say researchers who theorize that music might be repairing the brain’s neural networks after stroke.

Those who listened to music were less confused and depressed as well. This is the first human study that shows patients in the early post-stroke stages can improve with music. Researchers hope to use this as a basis for a pilot study.

Teppo Sarkamo, a psychologist who led the story from the University of Helsinki tells the Mirror newspaper in Britain, “We can’t say what is happening in the brain but based on previous research and theory it may be music listening could actually activate the brain in people who are recovering.”  #

 


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