Sat, Dec 04, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Report says music therapy may reduce epileptic seizures

Staff Writer, with CNA

Listening to Mozart’s piano concertos for eight minutes a day can reduce the frequency of seizures in young epilepsy patients by 30 percent, a study carried out by Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) showed.

The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers at National Sun Yat-sen University’s department of music, examined the effects of Mozart’s music on children 17 years old and under who suffer from epilepsy.

Lin Lung-chang (林龍昌), a child neurologist at KMU Hospital and a member of the research team, said brain wave tests on 58 epilepsy patients in the designated age group showed that the frequency of abnormally excited electrical signals in the brain dropped an average of 30 percent in 47 cases after listening to eight minutes of Mozart’s piano concerto K448.

In a second-phase test over a longer period, it was found that the longer the program of music therapy lasted, the better its healing effects on the patients.

“Six months would be the best time span for music therapy,” Lin said.

In a third-phase test, 18 patients with a high frequency of seizures or convulsions were found to have experienced a whopping 53 percent reduction in frequency after a long period of music therapy, Lin said.

Yang Jui-cheng (楊瑞成), another team member and child neurology expert at KMU Hospital, said the study found that in addition to “markedly improving” epilepsy in children, music can also help to reduce the dosage of medication patients require and its side effects.

He said that foreign studies have demonstrated that music can help cure Parkinson’s disease, dementia, strokes, sleeping disorders and attention deficient disorder, and has a good record of improving patients’ quality of life.

In 1993, a medical journal reported that college students who took an IQ test after listening to Mozart’s piano concerto K448 scored eight or nine points higher than usual, Lin said.

The research conducted by Lin’s team will be published in Epilepsy Research, a well-known medical journal.

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