Tuesday March 31, 2020

Listening to Music Helps Stroke Patients Recover Faster: Study

Music therapy helps stroke patients recover faster and lifts their mood

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Researchers have found that listening to music helps stroke patients recover by stimulating their brain and lifting their mood. Pixabay

Researchers have found that listening to music helps stroke patients recover by stimulating their brain and lifting their mood. This is a health and lifestyle research.

The study, published in the journal Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, found that music therapy sessions have a positive effect on the neurorehabilitation of acute stroke patients.

The research was carried out on a 26-bed stroke and rehabilitation unit at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge in the UK. In total, 177 patients took part in 675 Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) sessions over a two-year period.

“Our study found that Neurologic Music Therapy was received enthusiastically by patients, their relatives, and staff,” said study lead author Alex Street from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in UK.

According to the researchers, music therapy is understood to help stroke patients through mood regulation, improved concentration, and promoting changes in the brain to improve function, known as neural reorganisation. Lots of repetition, or ‘massed practice’, is central to neurorehabilitation.

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Music therapy sessions have a positive effect on the neurorehabilitation of acute stroke patients. Pixabay

In addition to playing physical instruments (keyboard, drums and hand-held percussion), iPads featuring touchscreen instruments were used in the trial to help patients with hand rehabilitation, through improving finger dexterity, and cognitive training. NMT sessions were run alongside existing stroke rehabilitation treatment, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and clinical psychology.

Of the 139 patients, relatives and hospital staff who completed questionnaires, the average response was that NMT was “helpful” or “very helpful”. And of the 52 patients who completed mood scale questionnaires, there was a reduction in “sad” and an increase in “happy” responses immediately following a session.

Speech and language therapists observed a positive impact on patient arousal and engagement, and reported that it may help patients overcome low mood and fatigue – both common following stroke – and therefore be beneficial for their rehabilitation.

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“The fact 675 sessions were carried out in two years is in itself an indication of the success of the treatment. It shows that staff are referring patients because they understand the mechanisms of the exercises and can see how it can benefit their patients,” Street said. “It also shows that patients are willing to do the exercises, with each one participating in an average of five sessions”. (IANS)

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Cancer Patients Work Together to Make Surgical Masks in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Cancer Patients Make Face Masks to Fight COVID-19

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A group of cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan is working to meet the demand for protective surgical masks while earning funds to help pay for their treatments. Pixabay

A group of cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan is working to meet the demand for protective surgical masks while earning funds to help pay for their treatments.

The group is organized by an association known as “Together for Life,” established in July 2019. Originally, the group made handbags and purses as a kind of therapy, as well as financial aid for women overcoming cancer.

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But once the demand for masks increased, the president of the group, Aigul Kydyrmysheva, told The Associated Press that they received permission from the Ministry of Health to switch to making the protective gear.

cancer masks
Members of a public association, which comprises people suffering from various types of cancer, produce medical masks, which are widely used as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak, in a sewing workshop in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. VOA

Kydyrmysheva said they market their products through social media and that while bigger factories can produce masks faster, many customers have turned to them, understanding that their profits go to a good cause.

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The group works nearly round-the-clock, making as many as 1,000 masks a day, which earns them about $2,500 a month. In turn, they have been able to allocate about $770 a month to offset cancer treatment drugs. (VOA)