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Music Therapy for Stroke Patients

We all know that music can affect our moods. Its no secret that popping in a favorite CD can change our frame of mind and even inspire us to sing and dance. Music can uplift our spirit, but can it aid in recovery for stroke patients? A recent study seems to think so.

A team of Finnish researchers, lead by Teppo Sarkamo from the University of Helsinki, studied 60 stroke survivors to see if they could benefit from music therapy in addition to their regular stroke rehabilitation. The goal was to offer music therapy immediately, before large changes in the brain had begun, although the 60 patients were already showing signs of movement, attention problems and memory problems. After 3 months, the researchers had noticed a dramatic effect.

Some patients listened to their music of choice for a couple of hours a day, some listened to audio books and some listened to nothing at all. Verbal memory improved in the music group by 60%, focused attention improved by 17% and the music group was also documented as being more clear and positive minded showing less signs of depression or confusion than the other two groups.

The research team suggests that music should be considered as a helpful addition to regular stroke therapy to help enhance cognitive recovery and a positive mood.

The research team is not sure of the scientific reasons for music improving memory but they are entertaining the idea that music may stimulate damaged areas of the brain, or that it may stimulate mechanisms responsible for the brain to repair neural networks. It is also possible that music works on the part of the nervous system responsible for memory and pleasure. More research may be able to help determine why music therapy is so helpful for stroke patients.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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What medical conditions can I get disability for?
Does Social Security Disability Depend on Level of Illness or the type of Work?
Can Debt Collectors go after Social Security Disability or Retirement?
What if the Disability Examiner is Unfamiliar with my Medical Condition?
Using a letter from a doctor at a disability hearing
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While you are in your disability interview
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Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Getting a disability approval
How to appeal disability denial
Disability hearing results
Helpful tips for going to social security disability hearing
SSDI hearing decision
Denied social security disability now what
Social security disability appeal status
Social security disability appeal attorney fees
I was denied social security disability for the 2nd time
What happens after a disability hearing has been held
How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
The Social Security Disability Blue book
How to get an SSDI reconsideration approved?
Conditions that get approved for disability
Social security disability back pay status
Denied social security disability appeal
What to say at a disability hearing
Filing for disability with fibromyalgia
Tips for applying for disability