Thursday, February 28, 2008
For millions around the world healing is still defined by pills, surgeries and otherwise invasive techniques. But recent news from the Cognitive Brain Research Unit at the University of Helsinki proves that healing sometimes comes from more natural and simple alternatives than the complex, expensive and synthetic work of science.
According to a recent study involving some sixty patients who suffered from stroke of the middle cerebral artery of the left or right side of brain, music therapy has been shown to expedite and improve the overall condition of recovery. The study showed that those patients who simply listened to music each days soon after the stroke improved their verbal memory and displayed a general improved mood to those patients who did not. Three months after a stroke the music listeners showed a 60 percent better improvement in verbal memory compared to an 18 percent benefit for those using audio books and 29 percent for people who did not listen to either.
"We can't say what is happening in the brain, but based on previous research and theory it may be that music listening could actually activate the brain areas that are recovering," said Teppo Sarkamo a psychologist involved in the study at the University of Helsinki. "Music might also in some way activate more general mechanisms that repair and renew the brain's neural networks after stroke."
Although larger studies are needed to better understand the causes behind these findings, the study does show that music may offer a cheap, easy additional treatment for stroke patients.