Neurologic Music Therapy Improves Mood And Accelerates Strok
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Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) has been found to not only lift the mood of acute stroke patients but also improve rehabilitation results in a multidisciplinary team setting. There is increasing evidence for music-based interventions to improve mood and functional outcomes in the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

In the first large-scale study, led by Dr. Alex Street, of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have found that music therapy sessions have a positive effect on the neurorehabilitation of acute stroke patients, as well as their mood.

In total, 177 patients took part in 675 Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) sessions over a two-year period. 139 patients, relatives, and hospital staff who completed questionnaires, the average response was that NMT was "helpful" or "very helpful". And of the 52 patients who completed mood scale questionnaires, there was a reduction in "sad" and an increase in "happy" responses immediately following a session.

Speech and language therapists observed a positive impact on patient arousal and engagement and reported that it may help stroke patients through mood regulation, improved concentration, and promoting changes in the brain to improve function, known as neural reorganization. Physical benefits include better arm function and gait.

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.

"Staff felt that using music and instruments allowed patients to achieve a high amount of repetition to help achieve their goals. They felt that the exercises appear less clinical, because the patients are playing music with the music therapist, and they are receiving immediate feedback from the exercises, through the sounds they create. Further research is necessary to establish potential effects of music therapy on recovery rate and length of hospital stay." said the author.

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