Category: Arts & Neuroscience; Brain Injury; Neuroplasticity (includes neuroscience)
Objective : To investigate the effects of music-supported intervention of patients with cognitive and social dysfunction following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), we designed an intervention of piano-tution.
Design : Before and after trial : 3 groups of participants: One group of mild TBI patients, two control groups of healthy participants : one group received the same music tuition as the patient group, one group as a baseline group without music.
Setting : The intervention was carried out at Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : The patient group: 7 participants who all suffered from cognitive and social problems . Two groups of healthy controls were recruited by posters at the University of Bergen . One group of 11 with music-intervention, and one baseline group without music. All three groups matched in sociodemographic features.
Interventions : The intervention consisted of 30 minutes twice a week during 8 weeks. Participants practiced 15 minutes each day during intervention.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : All patients achieved increased cognitive and social functioning.
CVLT test demonstrated a significant effect of musical training on executive functions related to attention, learning strategies, and retrieval of memories in the clinical group and in the healthy control group with music intervention. The clinical group demonstrated an increase in cognitive performance up to the level of pre-intervention level of both control groups.
The results document functional changes in several dimensions. 6 out of 7 participants in the clinical group reported a better well-being and social interaction together with normal work-situation, an increase of social behaviour after music intervention. This was accompanied with functional neuroplasticity predominantly in orbito- and prefrontal cortex in the patient group concordantly seen in both task and resting-state fMRI.
Playing the piano may enhance cognitive performance , social interaction and well-being in patients with cognitive deficits following mild to moderate TBI. The results from both task and resting-state fMRI revealed significant evidence for a causal relationship between music intervention and functional reorganization of neural networks in OFC. We suggest that neural activation during eight weeks of intense and structured music intervention promoted social interaction and enhanced cognitive performance in the clinical group, a view supported by the literature of neuroplastic changes in the brain during music-training.
Berit Marie Vik– Researcher, University of Bergen, Norway, Sandnes, Rogaland