Music therapy sessions help stroke patients recover faster

New research has shed a positive light on music therapy sessions for stroke patients which helps them to improve function by regulating mood, improving concentration, and promoting brain changes.

The study was led by Dr. Alex Street, of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), and was carried out on a 26-bed stroke and rehabilitation unit at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge.

For the study, they studied the experience of 177 patients who took part in 675 Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) sessions over a two-year period.

The researchers investigated and published the results in the journal Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.

In addition to playing physical instruments (keyboard, drums and hand-held percussion), iPads featuring touchscreen instruments were used in the trial to help patients with hand rehabilitation, through improving finger dexterity, and cognitive training.

NMT sessions were run alongside existing stroke rehabilitation treatment, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and clinical psychology.

After the experiment, the average response from the participants was that NMT was “helpful” or “very helpful”.The participants who completed mood scale related questionnaires, there was a reduction in “sad” and an increase in “happy” responses immediately following a session.

Dr. Alex Street, the Senior Research Fellow within the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “Our study found that Neurologic Music Therapy was received enthusiastically by patients, their relatives, and staff.

Speech and language therapists also observed a positive impact on patient arousal and engagement and reported that it may help patients overcome low mood and fatigue.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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