According to new research presented today at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), Mozart’s music has been shown to have an anti-epileptic effect on the brain and may be a possible treatment to prevent epileptic seizures.
Researchers believe that the acoustic (physical) properties within the music are responsible for this effect.
Listening to the famous Sonata for two pianos by the 18th century composer K448 resulted in a 32% reduction in epileptiform discharges (ED). They are electrical brain waves associated with epilepsy and can cause seizures or explosions of electrical activity that temporarily affect the functioning of the brain.
A team led by Professor Ivan Rektor, of the Epilepsy Center at St Anne’s Hospital and CEITEC Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, compared the effects of listening to Mozart’s Sonata for two pianos K448 with Symphony no. . 94 by Haydn. brain activity they were measured using intracerebral electrodes that had been implanted in the brains of patients with epilepsy prior to surgery.
“To our surprise, there were significant differences between the effects of listening to Mozart’s K448 and Haydn’s No. 94,” Professor Rektor commented. “Listening to Mozart resulted in a 32% decrease in ED, but listening to Haydn’s number 94 resulted in a 45% increase.”
“In the second part of our study, we set out to explain‘ the Mozart effect ’on epilepsy,” Professor Rektor added. The study found that men and women responded differently to the two pieces of music. Listening to Haydn’s music resulted in suppression of epileptiform discharges only in women; in men, there was an increase in epileptiform discharges. Acoustic properties, such as rhythm, dynamics, and tone, demonstrated that the acoustic characteristics of musical composition have a different effect on men and women.
“We believe that the ‘acoustic’ physical characteristics of Mozart’s music affect the brain oscillations (or brain waves), which are responsible for reducing ED.”
Researchers have previously hypothesized that the Mozart effect in epilepsy was related to the emotional effects of music, as dopamine (the major neurotransmitters in the brain’s reward system) is released when music is listened to. However, there is no direct evidence of the mechanism.
“We found that the reduction in EDs was greater on the side temporal lobe, which is the part of the brain involved in the translation of acoustic signals, rather than in the mesiotemporal limbic region, which plays an important role in the emotional response to music. “
“The effects of listening to music on epilepsy cannot be explained by the effect of dopamine released by the reward system,” Professor Rektor explained. “Our patients were not knowledgeable about music and said they were emotionally indifferent to both pieces of music. Therefore, there was no reason to believe that K448 evoked more pleasure than the number 94.”
Experts believe the study’s findings could pave the way for individualized music therapies to be developed to prevent and control epileptic seizures in the future and have called for more research on the effects of music on the net brain. Epilepsy affects 6 million people in Europe and 15 million Europeans have an attack at some point in their lives.
“Based on our research, we suggest studying the use of musical pieces with well-defined acoustic properties as a non-invasive method to reduce epileptic activity in patients with epilepsy“, concluded Professor Rektor.
K Stillova et al. Mozart’s effect on epilepsy: why is Mozart better than Haydn? Acoustic analysis based on the quality of stereo electroencephalography.
Provided by Spink Health
Citation: The Mozart effect shown to reduce epileptic brain activity, reveals new research (2021, June 19) retrieved June 19, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-mozart- effect-shown-epileptic-brain .html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair treatment for the purposes of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is provided for informational purposes only.