Parkinson’s Research Studies Show The Healing Power Of Music

Parkinson’s Research Studies Show The Healing Power Of Music

ABSTRACT: In a fascinating example that shows just how potent playing a musical instrument – in this case guitar – can be for combatting progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, which effects more than 10 million people worldwide, a study done by the Parkinson’s Disease Journal showed how even beginners can experience “improvement in mood and overall quality of life, and, for some, motor functions, including enhanced posture and gait and the reduction of tremors that affect the hands, legs, and feet”. The study was led by neurologist Alexander Pantelyat, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Music and Medicine, and Serap Bastepe-Gray, co-founder of the center, with joint appointments at Peabody (guitar) and the School of Medicine (neurology). The study, which took place over 12 weeks, involved 12 adults—mostly in their 50s and early 60s— at the Peabody Preparatory’s Towson campus to study “whether musical interventions—in this case hourlong guitar lessons held twice a week—could lessen motor symptoms in Parkinson’s patients and improve their cognitive ability and emotional well-being.”

More and more research is being done to examine how reducing symptoms from Parkinson’s is possible by not only playing music, but also other combined physical and mental activities, such as riding a bicycle.

REVIEWER: Peter Gerlings

AUTHOR SUMMARY: Alexander Pantelyat, Serap Bastepe-Gray