A medical maestro: Can Mozart treat heart disease

Listening to Mozart can reduce stress, boost intelligence and treat heart disease. Doctors could soon be prescribing his music for epilepsy too.

Every treatment had been tried for the patient's severe epilepsy. Seven epileptic drugs, and brain surgery, had failed to have any effect on the seizures and fits he had suffered daily for much of his 46 years. With no sign of any improvement, and with tests confirming a deterioration in learning skills and memory over a nine-year period, surgeons decided that he should be assessed for further brain surgery.

But, shortly before the patient was scheduled for tests, there was a remarkable improvement. The gelastic (or laughing) fits he had suffered up to six times day subsided. Instead of uncontrollable laughing fits, they became six- to nine-second-long involuntary smiles that he was able to control. He had also been having about seven generalised seizures a month, but he had had none in three months.

When doctors investigated, they found that the transformation was down to a lifestyle change. He had started to listen to Mozart for 45 minutes a day.

The case of the 46-year-old man, being reported by doctors at the Institute of Neurology in London, is the latest success put down to the "Mozart effect", which has been linked to benefits as diverse as improved mathematical skills, enhanced foetal brain development, reduced stress, improved learning and IQ, less arthritis pain, and improved performance on eye tests. Rats exposed to the music also perform better in maze tests, while fish appeared to be happier and healthier.

Source - Independent

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