Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after cerebral artery stroke

Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki Brain Research Centre, Helsinki, Finland.
Brain (Impact Factor: 9.2). 04/2008; 131(Pt 3):866-76. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awn013
Source: PubMed


We know from animal studies that a stimulating and enriched environment can enhance recovery after stroke, but little is known about the effects of an enriched sound environment on recovery from neural damage in humans. In humans, music listening activates a wide-spread bilateral network of brain regions related to attention, semantic processing, memory, motor functions, and emotional processing. Music exposure also enhances emotional and cognitive functioning in healthy subjects and in various clinical patient groups. The potential role of music in neurological rehabilitation, however, has not been systematically investigated. This single-blind, randomized, and controlled trial was designed to determine whether everyday music listening can facilitate the recovery of cognitive functions and mood after stroke. In the acute recovery phase, 60 patients with a left or right hemisphere middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke were randomly assigned to a music group, a language group, or a control group. During the following two months, the music and language groups listened daily to self-selected music or audio books, respectively, while the control group received no listening material. In addition, all patients received standard medical care and rehabilitation. All patients underwent an extensive neuropsychological assessment, which included a wide range of cognitive tests as well as mood and quality of life questionnaires, one week (baseline), 3 months, and 6 months after the stroke. Fifty-four patients completed the study. Results showed that recovery in the domains of verbal memory and focused attention improved significantly more in the music group than in the language and control groups. The music group also experienced less depressed and confused mood than the control group. These findings demonstrate for the first time that music listening during the early post-stroke stage can enhance cognitive recovery and prevent negative mood. The neural mechanisms potentially underlying these effects are discussed.

  • Source
    • "In this sense, the emotional effects induced by music listening and learning might also aid the rehabilitation intervention by engaging the reward-learning network (Rodriguez-Fornells et al. 2012). Interestingly, passive music listening after stroke has also proven to induce improvements in several cognitive and mood domains (Särkämö et al. 2008, 2014). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Novel rehabilitation interventions have improved motor recovery by induction of neural plasticity in individuals with stroke. Of these, Music-supported therapy (MST) is based on music training designed to restore motor deficits. Music training requires multimodal processing, involving the integration and co-operation of visual, motor, auditory, affective and cognitive systems. The main objective of this study was to assess, in a group of 20 individuals suffering from chronic stroke, the motor, cognitive, emotional and neuroplastic effects of MST. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we observed a clear restitution of both activity and connectivity among auditory-motor regions of the affected hemisphere. Importantly, no differences were observed in this functional network in a healthy control group, ruling out possible confounds such as repeated imaging test- ing. Moreover, this increase in activity and connectivity be- tween auditory and motor regions was accompanied by a functional improvement of the paretic hand. The present results confirm MST as a viable intervention to improve motor function in chronic stroke individuals
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Brain Imaging and Behavior
  • Source
    • "The physiological connectivity of the mesolimbic system was enhanced with listening to music in healthy individuals (Menon & Levitin, 2005; Vink, Bruinsma, & Scholten, 2013). Music listening has shown to improve mood and cognitive functions such as focused attention and verbal memory during recovery from stroke (Sarkamo, et al., 2008). There is growing evidence of the effectiveness of music not only to alleviate stress and anxiety but also to improve cognitive functions of healthy individuals as well as people in a host of clinical conditions. "

    Full-text · Conference Paper · Aug 2015
  • Source
    • "According to this hypothesis, this positive effect is not specific to music, it is essentially provoked by the emotional aspect of music. This interpretation was used by Sarkamo et al. (2008). Nevertheless, in neglect patients, another hypothesis could be assumed to explain why music could be useful to rehabilitate spatial attention. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) is an attention deficit in the contralesional side of space which occurs after a cerebral stroke, mainly located in the right hemisphere. USN patients are disabled in all daily activities. USN is an important negative prognostic factor of functional recovery and of socio-professional reinsertion. Thus, patient rehabilitation is a major challenge. As this deficit has been described in many sensory modalities (including hearing), many sensory and poly-sensory rehabilitation methods have been proposed to USN patients. They are mainly based on visual, tactile modalities and on motor abilities. However, these methods appear to be quite task-specific and difficult to transfer to functional activities. Very few studies have focused on the hearing modality and even fewer studies have been conducted in music as a way of improving spatial attention. Therefore, more research on such retraining needs is neccessary in order to make reliable conclusions on its efficiency in long-term rehabilitation. Nevertheless, some evidence suggests that music could be a promising tool to enhance spatial attention and to rehabilitate USN patients. In fact, music is a material closely linked to space, involving common anatomical and functional networks. The present paper aims firstly at briefly reviewing the different procedures of sensory retraining proposed in USN, including auditory retraining, and their limits. Secondly, it aims to present the recent scientific evidence that makes music a good candidate for USN patients' neuro-rehabilitation.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Frontiers in Psychology
Show more