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10 August 2015

Could music help to prevent seizures?

New research suggests that  music could potentially be used to develop future therapies that may help prevent seizures in people with epilepsy.

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have discovered that there is a difference in the way that the brains of people with epilepsy react to music, compared to those without the condition.

The study looked at brainwave patterns in a group of people exposed to alternating 10-minute sessions of silence and music, which included Mozart's 'Sonata in D Major' and saxophonist John Coltrane's 'My Favourite Things'.

All subjects showed heightened brain activity while listening to classical and jazz music. But the brain waves of people with epilepsy, particularly in temporal lobe epilepsy, lined up more strongly with the music than those of people without epilepsy.

Christine Charyton, an adjunct assistant professor and visiting assistant professor of neurology at the university medical centre, who presented the research, said: 'We hypothesized that music would be processed in the brain differently than silence. We did not know if this would be the same or different for people with epilepsy.

'We believe that music could potentially be used as an intervention to help people with epilepsy.' While she did not think music would replace current epilepsy therapies, she said it might be used in conjunction with traditional therapies.'

Read more about music and epilepsy and how it is thought to trigger seizures in some people or help to reduce them in others.