Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Study Shows that Patients who Listen to Music Need Fewer Drugs

Music or drugs: which is better? You said drugs, hands down, right? Well, it seems that music potentiates the effects of sedatives.

It appears that listening to Mozart has a definite sedative effect on the body; with defined benefits. The news comes from study author Claudius Conrad, MD, PhD, Senior Surgical Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School.

We now have measureable proof that our body responds favorably to music. The physiologic mechanisms have not been previously known. These results yielded such positive information that further study is planned.

The analysis was performed on critically ill patients who were free of sedation while music was provided. Data was collected before and after the patient's exposure to Mozart. Measurements of heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormone levels, and cytokine release were performed.

The results were a pleasant surprise – the patients required much less sedation than normal to achieve the same level of comfort. Lower blood pressure and heart rate was seen as the result of decreased levels of stress hormones.

The study was performed only on patients who were on ventilators and deemed severely ill. They were exposed to one hour of Mozart’s slow movement piano sonatas. Because the patients were so ill, and the only music offered was from Mozart, questions remain about whether or not the same effect would be found in other patient populations; with different music.

Physicians who have been studied have also responded favorably to music. Studies are cited showing that surgeons were able to perform mental subraction more quickly while listening to their favorite music. Models are developed to find ways to integrate 'musical sedation' into clinical practice.

A recent small study from the Cochrane review also found that music may be effective for treating depression. The confidence level regarding the result is low because only five studies were included in this particular review. High quality studies would further define if music might also be an effective treatment for depression, but these preliminary reviews certainly suggest the possibility.

Now you can perform your own study – go listen to Mozart, or other music to your liking, and see how you feel before; then after. Enjoy!

Ref: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/569013?src=mp