Music helps stroke patients learn to speak again

The Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess & Harvard Medical School researches the use of music and musical stimuli as an interventional tool for educational and therapeutic purposes.

In the Lab’s study of singing therapy, which they call ‘melodic intonation therapy, post-stroke patients are assigned to a form of conventional speech therapy or to singing therapy. They undergo 90 minutes of treatment a day for 15 weeks and are reporting positive results in helping people to speak again. He also reports good results working with autistic children and people with Parkinson’s disease who have trouble speaking.

Another study found that the cerebellum, which contains about 70 percent of the brain’s neurons, is about 5 percent larger in expert male musicians than in men who have not had extensive musical training.

SOURCES:

The Laboratory’s website: http://www.musicianbrain.com/#publications

Singing Therapy for Stroke patients: http://www.musicianbrain.com/papers/Singing_Therapy_Helps_Stroke_Patients_Speak_Again_NPR_122611.pdf

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