A daily portion of one’s favorite pop melodies, classical music or jazz can speed recovery from debilitating strokes, according to the latest research. When stroke patients in Finland listened to music for a couple of hours each day, verbal memory and attention span improved significantly compared to patients who received no musical stimulation, or who listened only to stories read out loud, the study reports33.
Recent research has shown that music listening after stroke not only promotes behavioral recovery, but also induces fine-grained neuroanatomical changes in the recovering brain40.
33. Sarkamo T, Tervaniemi M, Laitinen S, Forsblom A, Soinila S, Mikkonen M, Autti T, Silvennoinen HM, Erkkila J, Laine M, Peretz I, Hietanen M. Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke. Brain. 2008 Mar;131(Pt 3):866-76. PubMed
40. Särkämö T, Ripollés P, Vepsäläinen H, Autti T, Silvennoinen HM, Salli E, Laitinen S, Forsblom A, Soinila S, Rodríguez-Fornells A. Structural changes induced by daily music listening in the recovering brain after middle cerebral artery stroke: a voxel-based morphometry study. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Apr 17;8:245. PubMed