The Use of Music Therapy on Stroke Victims
When normal blood flow to the brain fails, a stroke occurs, there are more than 780,000 strokes every year in the United States causing more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease that number is expected to increase in the coming years. (Know Stroke). While preventing strokes is obviously a goal, the development of successful rehabilitation strategies is equally important. Music therapy has shown promise as a way to help stroke victims recover a variety of lost functionality. In this paper I will be describing the beneficial effects that music has on stroke victims.
There are two main types of stroke ischemic and hemorrhagic. ...view middle of the document...
Indirect costs accounted for 58% of lifetime costs (Taylor).
There are three types of post-stroke rehabilitation: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. The goal of physical therapy is to help the patient relearn walking, sitting, lying down, or switching from one type of movement to another. Occupational therapy seeks to help the patient relearn the basic activities of daily living such as eating, drinking, dressing, bathing, cooking, reading, writing, and toileting skills. Speech therapy aims to reclaim language and communication skills, including swallowing. There can also be psychological and psychiatric therapy that seeks to alleviate some mental and emotional problems that arise both directly and indirectly from the stroke (NINDS).
Music therapy is gaining acceptance in all three types of post stroke rehabilitation. The concept of music affecting health and behavior can be found in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline began after World Wars I and II, when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to veterans hospitals around the United States to play for the thousands suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients’ physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request that hospitals hire musicians. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility, and so the demand grew for a college curriculum (AMTA). While there has been experiential and anecdotal evidence as to the benefits of music therapy, it was hard to prove scientifically. There were clear limitations to cognitive brain re-search from a neuroscience perspective before the development of noninvasive research tools to study the human brain while a person was still alive. Developed in the mid to late 1980s, advanced brain imaging techniques were slow to become available to musical brain research
Recently, brain imaging studies have shown that neural activity associated with music listening extends well beyond the auditory cortex, involving a widespread bilateral network of frontal, temporal, parietal, and sub cortical areas related to attention, semantic, and music-syntactic processing, memory and motor functions, as well as limbic and par limbic regions related to emotion processing. This postulates that mechanisms that drive cognitive processes in music, such as in attention and memory, are shared by equivalent processes in nonmusical cognition (Thaut).
Musical experiences are multimodal, involving at the least the auditory, visual, cognitive, affective, memory, and motor systems. A number of studies have indicated that music processing involves functionally independent modules. Music reading activates an area on the right side of the brain parallel to an area on the left side that is activated during language reading (Hodges). EEG recordings show that music induces significantly higher...