Music boosts neurological development for brain injury patients

Recent evidence finds that music therapy can benefit patients with disorders that are linked to a traumatic brain injury. 

A variety of research now supports the idea that traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients can greatly benefit from music therapy. Although more research is still necessary, evidence suggests that music can have a positive effect on the rehabilitation of neurons in the brain, and it is currently an active part of the treatment program that is being prescribed for many TBI patients.

Interestingly, a recent study that was conducted by researchers at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and published in ‘Medical Hypotheses’, found that the brain actually grows during musical “training,” much like any other muscle in the body responds to normal physical exercise. In addition, the September 2007 issue of Behavioral Pharmacology details a study in which exposure to music was found to substantially augment learning abilities in mice.

These and other similar findings continue to make doctors, therapists, patients, caregivers and researchers hopeful that music research and music therapy can ultimately be utilized to effectively treat TBI patients, as well as victims of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and schizophrenia. In addition, some researchers have come to believe that the findings strongly suggest that patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, central nervous system pathologies and a variety of other brain-related injuries and conditions could also potentially benefit from music therapy.

Every year, millions are affected by TBI, as well as by other brain conditions that can hamper the patient’s quality of life and ability to function normally. However, by incorporating music therapy and music training into the overall cognitive rehabilitation program for patients, they can potentially speed up recovery and enhance overall learning potential.

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