Melody of life: music helps the rehabilitation of patients after stroke

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In the world at least 20 million people annually suffer a stroke. Many of those who survived this disease, there are persistent, residual brain damage, which often are expressed in violation of motor functions and speech disorders. American scientists claim that regular listening to music has a positive effect on the rehabilitation process of such patients, accelerating recovery and improving the results. Researchers believe that in addition to passive listening to pleasant music in such patients should be actively involved in the classroom by a special technique, built on the connection of rhythm and movement.

Scientists from temple University in Philadelphia (Temple University in Philadelphia) studied the effect of different types of music on the rehabilitation process of stroke patients. There were 7 studies involving 184 patients after the disease. In parts of research papers have investigated the effect of passive music listening as a stimulator of brain activity, and the other part was devoted to study the effect of RAS method developed by the authors of scientific work, on the process of rehabilitation of such patients.

RAS – from the English term “rhythmic auditory stimulation” (auditory stimulation with rhythmical sounds) – is to restore the ability to walk to rhythmic music and in the recovery of motor function of the hand after stroke. Scientists claim that, thanks to the use of specially selected rhythmical music, they managed to achieve a significant increase in the walking speed (14 meters per minute) and increase step length in patients with impairment of this function.

“The results of our study indicate a high effectiveness of music therapy in the rehabilitation process of stroke patients. The rhythm, in our opinion, is the main factor in the positive impact of music on these patients,” writes Professor Bradt Joke (Joke Bradt), one of the authors of the study. He believes that, despite the undoubted positive impact and passive music listening, patients with residual effects after a stroke should be involved in active participation in the rehabilitation process, what RAS is a good tool.

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