The important role of music in neurorehabilitation: bridging critical gaps

Experts highlight current gaps in clinical applications of music therapy in neurorehabilitation

Amsterdam, NL, 10 March 2021 – Music-based interventions have become an essential component of effective neurological rehabilitation in the past 20 years thanks to an increased body of knowledge. In this topic topic Neurological rehabilitationIn this field, experts in the field highlight some critical gaps present in clinical applications that have been less thoroughly investigated, such as post-stroke perception, traumatic brain injury, autism and specific learning disabilities.

Neuromuscular therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of musical interventions by a certified professional. Research in the 1990s showed for the first time how rhythmic musical stimuli could improve movement in stroke and Parkinson’s disease patients. We now know that music-based interventions can effectively treat a wide range of impairments in sensory, speech / language, and cognitive functions.

“The use of music-based interventions in neurorehabilitation was not really known 25 years ago,” explains guest editor Michael That, PhD, Director, Music and Health Sciences Research Collaboration, College of Music and Medical School, University of Toronto. Since then, an increasing number of research has shown how rhythmic musical stimuli can improve movement disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease, and music-based interventions are now an essential component of effective neurological rehabilitation. For example, rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) is now adopted in many official stroke care guidelines in the United States and Canada.

This collection of articles includes three studies on the use of music in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. Two studies looking at music-based interventions in children with autism and learning disabilities, respectively; The little-investigated relationship between motor training and cognitive outcomes in chronic stroke rehabilitation; A theoretical paper on the mechanisms of changes in neuroplastics underlying successful neuromuscular therapy interventions that provide a theoretical understanding of how music shapes brain function in neuroplastic rehabilitation at the impairment level. Several research papers on the topic of research review of the Neuromuscular Therapy regimen that has been endorsed by the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation as evidence-based and practiced by accredited clinicians in more than 50 countries.

Lead researcher Catherine M. Hayer, Ph.D., College of Music, Music and Health Sciences Research, University of Toronto, and colleagues report the results of a randomized controlled trial of Therapeutic Music Performance (TIMP) with and without kinematics on chronic function – stroke of perception and influence. They found that the mental resilience aspect of executive functioning appears to be enhanced through therapeutic musical training in conjunction with motor imagery, possibly due to multisensory integration and standardization of representations through rehearsal of motor imagery after active practice. “It appears that active training with musical instruments has a positive effect on emotional response,” commented Dr. Hayrie. “However, these changes occurred independently of the improvements in perception.”

The effectiveness of music-based interventions in autism has been known for decades, but there has been little experimental investigation into the processes involved and how they compare with other approaches. Aparna Nadig, Ph.D. in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University and colleagues found that compared to a non-music-control intervention, children in music-based interventions spent more time on triple engagement (between child, therapist, and activity) and produced greater movement, depending on The type of musical instrument involved. “Collectively, these results provide useful initial evidence for the active ingredients of music-based interventions in autism,” Dr. Nadej noted.

Looking ahead, Dr. Thoth commented, “An important trend is to move from a treatment approach to a learning / training approach that allows the patient to become a more independent and independent participant in treatment. It will be to provide patients with music-based devices for more independent and iterative training via music technology. Important new development.Future challenges will be developing methods and building technology to integrate neuromuscular therapy into remote healthcare after COVID-19 to reach more patients in need around the world who do not have access to widely distributed neurorehabilitation services. At a point when we can clinically say that the brain that is involved in music, changes by engaging in music. ”


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