34 posts on music therapy. Back to Oct. 2014
67 posts on music Back to March 2011http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-12/music-stroke-patients-movement-research-perth/8435432
"You might notice that if you hear a song or a piece of music that you start tapping your foot or even clicking your fingers," she told ABC Radio Perth.
"There are strong connections between the parts of the brain that are responsible for processing auditory stimuli, like music, and the parts of the brain that are important for executing movements."
Dr Vallence said the brain's natural reaction to music helped stimulate brain activity, and that stimulation could also help the parts of the brain that regulate motor skills.
"One of the most common strokes is a middle cerebral artery stroke," she said.
"That typically means that there is a blockage that impacts the motor areas of the brain, the parts of the brain that are important for movement.
"If we can try to compensate for those damaged brain areas then we should be able to recover movement."Dr Vallence said too many stroke patients ended up with long-term movement impairments.
"We go about our days picking up a glass of water or cooking without even thinking about the movements that are needed for those tasks," she said.
"But if you take away that capacity, it becomes fairly striking how much of an impact that can have on daily life."
How the study will workDr Vallence is recruiting stroke patients to participate in a study of a music-based, individualised therapy program using smartphone app GotRhythm, which was developed by exercise scientists at the University of Western Australia.
The app is connected to wireless sensors which the participants will wear on their arms and hands.
They will activate the app and complete a 30-minute training session wearing the sensors, aiming to do everyday things like reaching for a cup in time; music will only play if they complete the action correctly.
Their brain activity is measured before and after the session to see if there has been a change.
The hope is that movements rewarded with music will stimulate the brain and with regular practice motor function will improve.
"It could be something as simple as tapping, or opening and closing the hand, or reaching, moving their hand away from the body," Dr Vallence said.
"If music can act as a cue ... then that should lead to an improvement in the functional capability."
And while the parts of the brain which have sustained damage cannot be repaired, getting different parts of the brain talking to each other again could compensate for some impairments.
"What we expect is that after a patient uses GotRhythm, those brain cells and the pathways will be much more active," Dr Vallence said.
Therapy inexpensive, engagingDr Vallence said it is hoped that music-based physiotherapy could make the long-term, repetitive work of recovering functional movement easier for stroke patients.
"I think the standout is that it is fun," she said.
"We have been able to develop something that is fairly inexpensive and that patients can do in their homes."We think the true benefit is that they will want to do it, so they will engage more, so the functional outcomes should be greater."
Dr Vallence is aiming to recruit 20 chronic stroke patients to test the app and can be contacted on (08) 9360 7464.