|health & fitness|
That Mozart helps epilepsy, and decreases the incidence of epileptic attacks, does not come a big surprise to me. Since music is, in purely physical terms, energy in harmonic vibration, I am not surprised that it restores some degree of harmony to the brain.|
Mozart Can Cut Epilepsy
Music, particularly Mozart, could have a therapeutic effect on epilepsy, say scientists. Short bursts of Mozart's Sonata K448 have been found to decrease epileptic attacks. There are now calls for more research to be done to see whether other music has such a positive effect on the brain.
Professor John Jenkins, who has reviewed the international research on music therapy, said it was very probable that work by other musicians could also trigger the "Mozart Effect". Listening to Mozart could just hold some hope in the treatment of epilepsy, said Professor John Jenkins, a member of the Royal College of Physicians. He told the BBC that Mozart and also Bach have similar structures.
Patients who had been exposed to 10 minutes of the music were then tested and just 10 minutes exposure improved their spatial skills - such as paper cutting and folding. Studies on rats showed that those who had listened to the K448 sonata were able to negotiate a maze faster than those who had been played minimalist music or left in silence.
In other tests children who were taught a keyboard instrument for six months, learning simple melodies, including Mozart, did better on tests than children who had spent their time working with computers. Although other scientists were unable to reproduce these results, Professor Jenkins said he believed they had merit and that the positive effects on epilepsy were particularly encouraging.
He said: "There is enough in it to justify further work being done. I thought there was enough in it to justify longer term exposure. Listening to Mozart could just hold some hope in the treatment of epilepsy." Scans have shown that the human brain uses a wide distribution of areas to listen to music. The left side of the brain tends to process rhythm and pitch and the right looks after timbre and melody.
Professor Jenkins said that listening to music would prime the relevant areas of the brain. But he stressed that for the music therapy to be of any real use for epileptics there would need to be much more research on the "Mozart Effect." The Performing Right Society (PRS) has launched its own study into the powerful and often hidden effects of music.
Andrew Potter, chair of the PRS, said: "There has always been anecdotal evidence of other benefits deriving from music and here is a study which brings that evidence together from its original authoritative sources to help music organisations of all kinds provide cogent answers." [ Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine library: "The Power of Music", April 2, 2001 ]
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