Music training against neglect

17-06-2019. After brain damage (such as a stroke), some patients suffer from a so-called neglect. Sensory perceptions for one side of the body are only insufficiently processed. In the visual-spatial neglect, those affected have no feeling (cognitive representation) for the left side of the room. This can be very cumbersome in everyday life and is expressed, for example, by difficulty in finding your way around.

Neglect patients have a shifted spatial perception, which is shown when they are drawn

For these patients, one could Music training Relief. Researchers from the University of Toronto have now had 2 patients perform music exercises. For example, bars were arranged in such a way that they reproduced a melodic course towards the neglect side. The training led directly to measurable improvements in neglect symptoms, even though the patients were already in the chronic phase. This means that the strokes were several months ago.

The follow-up examinations 1 week after the end of the therapy remained without measurable therapy progress. This is explained, among other things, by the short duration of therapy (3 weeks) and the small number of hours (6 sessions). Nevertheless, the researchers see the study as an encouraging result for an innovative therapy that could improve the quality of life of those affected in the future.

Kang, K, Thaut MH (2019). Musical Neglect Training for Chronic Persistent Unilateral Visual Neglect Post-stroke. Front Neurol. 10: 474. doi: 10.3389 / fneur.2019.00474

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