Music is not just a means of calming us down and playing on our mood, it also has real therapeutic virtues. We know indeed thatlistening to Mozart reduces the frequency of seizures in epileptics. Until now, however, it was not known why and more precisely why the Sonata for two pianos in D major (K448) was the most effective music. A study published this Thursday, September 16 in the journal Scientific Reports reveals how the music of the 18th century Austrian prodigy influences the brains of epileptics.
Reduce peaks of electrical activity associated with epilepsy
In practice, researchers from the Department of Neurology at Dartmouth College of America played Mozart’s famous sonata K448 called “Sonata for two pianos in D major” to 16 patients with implants placed inside the body. skull. The electroencephalogram (EEG) has in fact made it possible to measure the electrical activity inside the brains of 16 people with epilepsy having seizures drug resistant while listening to music. According to the study, listen to Mozart’s sonata K448 for a period of between 30 and 90 seconds results in an average reduction of 66.5% in the number of peaks of electrical activity linked to epilepsy in the brains of patients. The authors also reveal to us the areas of the brain in which the electrical peaks have fallen the most. It turns out that it is the left and right frontal cortices of the brain, where emotional responses are regulated.
The researchers didn’t just listen to Mozart and classical music to the epilepsy patients participating in the study. “We basically played nine different musical stimuli. One of them was Mozart. And then we also modulated Mozart with this gamma tone, like a kind of envelope. We tested music from different genres, then the patients selected the song they liked the most, “says Stat Robert Quon, lead author of the study. He clarified that Wagner or the metal band Nickelback were also tested for the study. “We were really hoping that one of those favorite pieces, when we modulated the frequencies, would result in significant therapeutic effects. But unfortunately, only Mozart’s original composition showed a significant response. So that led us to study more. before which properties could be responsible for this “, details the researcher.
Create anti-epileptic music against seizures
The study authors also found that listening to K448 for just 30 seconds could activate networks in the brain that are associated with positive emotional responses to the music. “Activation of these networks may help reduce the peaks of electrical activity associated with epilepsy in people with drug-resistant epilepsy,” the researchers say. “Our next step would be to test if we could detect other musical stimuli with these pre-existing properties, like tempo or timbre, or add these properties by altering the signal. We can eventually, hopefully, define an antiepileptic genre, then maybe that listening to music from this playlist will reduce the risk of a seizure“, assures Stat Robert Quon, lead author of the study.