Stroke: Singing activates language center

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Stroke: Singing reactivates language center American researchers led by neurologist Gottfried Schlaug have obviously discovered a very effective therapeutic measure in the form of singing in stroke patients.

Researchers around the neurologist Gottfried Schlaug have apparently discovered a very effective therapeutic measure in the form of singing in stroke patients. Gottfried Schlaug, director of the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, presented his results on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the annual conference of the American Academy of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego . Among other things, he showed video recordings on which patients with speech disorders (aphasia) can hardly speak a text, but can sing the same text.

Schlaug, who is also a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, explained the phenomenon in such a way that the music addressed both hemispheres of the brain. The act of speaking is limited to the left half, in which the language center is located, which was not adequately supplied with blood by the stroke due to the stroke and thus damaged. With the music and the response to larger parts of the brain, imaging techniques have made it visible that affected brain centers are expanding new connections.

Schlaug and colleagues call the therapy "Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)" and have already tested it in initial studies. In February 2008, researchers led by Teppo Särkämö from the University of Helsinki found that stroke patients regenerated better and faster if they listened to music for between one and two hours a day directly after the brain attack.

It is now to be hoped that the expansion of this extremely inexpensive and uncomplicated treatment method will be expanded in the future. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopath, 02/22/2010)

Additional information:

The "Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory" by Gottfried Schlaug
High risk of stroke in type 2 diabetes
Biofeedback - In interaction with the body

Author and source information

Video: Stroke patients regain speech through singing


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