Research Suggests Stroke Treatment With Music Therapy

Armen Hareyan's picture

Stroke sufferers can boost their brain functioning with listening to their favorite music daily. New research by University of Helsinki suggests that music therapy is effective for early post-stroke stage.

From 2004 to 2006 researchers examined 60 patients with average age of 65, who were just recovering from stroke. The patients were suffering from either left or right hemisphere cerebral artery stroke. The patients were divided into three groups: first group patients were listening to their favorite music daily, the second group patients were listening to audio books, the third group patients didn't receive any therapy.


The patients were checked twice after receiving music therapy: once after three months and once after six month. After three months first group patients had 60%, second group patients had 18%, third group patients had 29% improved verbal memory. First group patients also had 17% improved focused attention. First group patients also showed to be less depressed than the other group patients.

Music therapy appears to be cost-effective way to treat stroke patients. It is proved to be more effective during the early post-stroke period. Most recovering patients spend 3/4 time daily on non- therapeutic purposes. This time may be used for music therapy.

Stroke is a condition when brain blood flow is blocked. This causes brain cell damage and may cost patient's life or lifetime disability. Currently, the most effective ways for stroke treatment are blood thinning drugs to allow smoother blood flow and cholesterol lowering activities.

Music therapy is being used to improve mental state of patients with autism, schizophrenia, dementia. This is the first time that it is being used in stroke patients, and the therapy shows positive results. Researchers are unaware about the mechanism of how music therapy improves stroke patients' health, but the promising results encourage scientists to go on with more researches.