Curing epilepsy with ‘music’

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Published: August 10, 2015 1:36:42 PM

In a new research, scientists have found that brains of epileptic patients react to music in a "different" way from the ones who don't have the disorder.

In a new research, scientists have found that brains of epileptic patients react to music in a “different” way from the ones who don’t have the disorder.

According to research Scans show brainwaves of those with disorder appear to synchronize with music and the findings could lead to new therapies to prevent seizures.

Visiting assistant professor Christine Charyton, PhD, at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center along with colleagues compared the musical processing abilities of the brains of people with and without epilepsy using an electroencephalogram, where electrodes are attached to the scalp to detect and record brainwave patterns.

Approximately 80 percent of epilepsy cases are what is known as temporal lobe epilepsy, in which the seizures appear to originate in the temporal lobe of the brain. Music is processed in the auditory cortex in this same region of the brain, which was why Charyton wanted to study the effect of music on the brains of people with epilepsy.

The researchers found significantly higher levels of brainwave activity in participants when they were listening to music. More importantly, brainwave activity in people with epilepsy tended to synchronize more with the music, especially in the temporal lobe, than in people without epilepsy, added Charyton.

While she does not believe music would replace current epilepsy therapy, Charyton said this research suggested music might be a novel intervention used in conjunction with traditional treatment to help prevent seizures in people with epilepsy.

The study is presented at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd Annual Convention.

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