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October 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 7)

Mozart reduces epilepsy seizures
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Mozart reduces epilepsy seizures image

Mozart's music was supposed to make our kids smarter—and now new research suggests it could reduce the number of epilepsy seizures.

Although Mozart has been the go-to composer for treating epilepsy for the past 20 years, researchers weren't sure if there was anything special about the music or whether any scrambled version would work just as well.

After testing the maestro against a nearly-Mozart version for a year, researchers at the Toronto Western Hospital have confirmed that only the original will work. In fact, listening to Mozart's music once a day reduces the frequency of seizures.

The researchers played the first movement of Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K.448, every day for three months to 13 epilepsy patients and then switched to a shuffled version that lost the original's rhythmic qualities.

From the 'seizure diary' the patients kept, the researchers discovered there was a big difference in the number of seizures being recording while the 'true Mozart' was being played compared with the scrambled version.

It's an important discovery. More than 50 million people around the world suffer from epilepsy, and powerful anti-seizure medication is not effective in 30 per cent of patients.

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References

(Source: Epilepsia Open, 2020; 5: doi: 10.1002/epi4.12400)

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