“Mozart Effect”: Listening to the composer’s sonata for two pianos K448 can prevent epileptic seizures, study results | News from science and technology
According to a new study, a piece of music by Mozart may have anti-epileptic effects on the brain and may be a possible treatment to prevent seizures.
Researchers at St. Anne’s Hospital and CEITEC Masaryk University in the Czech Republic found that listening to Mozart’s sonata for two pianos K448 reduced epileptiform discharges (EDs) – the electrical brain waves associated with epilepsy that can cause seizures .
The team compared the effects of hearing two classic pieces on epilepsy and brain activity.
“To our surprise there were significant differences between the effects of listening to Mozart’s KV 448 and Haydn’s No. 94,” said Professor Ivan Rector.
“Listening to Mozart resulted in a 32 percent decrease in EDs, but listening to Haydn’s No. 94 caused a 45% increase.
“Listening to Haydn’s music led to suppressed epileptiform discharges only in women; in men there was an increase in epileptiform discharges.
“We believe that the physical ‘acoustic’ characteristics of Mozart music affect brain vibrations – or brain waves – that are responsible for reducing EDs.”
Prof. Rector added that the Mozart Effect was first conceived in the early 1990s, but no specific data was available.
His team, who published the study at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, tried to test the theory and found that EDs were suppressed by Mozart’s composition, while Haydn’s song increased EDs in men.
The team performed an acoustic analysis of Mozart’s piece, and Prof. Rektor said it wasn’t the emotions evoked by the song that helped reduce EDs, but the acoustic properties of the composition.
Experts believe the results could pave the way for the development of personalized music therapy for the prevention and treatment of epileptic seizures.
According to Epilepsy Action, 600,000 people in the UK are living with epilepsy – four times more than those living with Parkinson’s.
It affects about 1 in 100 people in the UK and 87 people are diagnosed with it every day.
Speaking to Sky News, Prof. Rector said his team has started a new study testing different types of music and is looking for music with anti-epileptic properties in individual patients.
“We’ll do and test it at epileptic parties with individual acoustic patterns,” he said.
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