Music: vitaliser for stroke sufferers

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London, Feb 20 (UNI) Tired of swallowing copious amount of bitter medicines after a stroke, try one more tonic, music.

Listening music for few hours a day in the early weeks after a stroke could help patients recover from brain damage as it improves mental functioning and mood, research shows.

With an added advantage of being cheap and easy to organise, listening music during this crucial period could enhance cognitive recovery and prevent negative mood.

''Newly diagnosed patients are often left on their own for large parts of the day, yet the first few months after a 'brain attack' are ideal for rehabilitative training,'' Daily Mail quoted researcher Teppo Sarkamo of Helsinki University as saying.

Conducting the research on 60 stroke patients, shortly after they were admitted to the hospital, it was found that three months after the stroke, verbal memory had improved 60 per cent in music listeners, 18 per cent in audio book listeners and 29 per cent in non-listeners.

The music listening group also had a less depressed and confused mood than the non-listeners.

Music might help patients' recovery by directly stimulating the damaged areas of the brain, as well as the brain region linked to feelings of pleasure, reward, motivation and memory.

''Rather than an alternative, music listening should be considered as an addition to other active forms, such as speech therapy,'' he concluded.

UNI XC PD HS1154

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