Effectiveness of music-based interventions on motricity or cognitive functioning in neurological populations

Background: Motor and cognitive symptoms are frequent in persons with neurological disorders and often require extensive long-term rehabilitation. recently, a variety of music-based interventions have been introduced into neurological rehabilitation as training tools.

Evidence aquisition: this review aims to 1) describe and define music-based intervention modalities and content which are applied in experimental studies; and 2) describe the effects of these interventions on motor and/or cognitive symptoms in the neurological population. the databases pubMed and Web of science were searched. cited references of included articles where screened for potential inclusion. a systematic literature search up to 20th of June 2016 was conducted to include controlled trials and cohort studies that have used music-based interventions for ≥3 weeks in the neurological population (in- and outpatients) targeting motor and/or cognitive symptoms. No limitations to publication date was set.

Evicence synthesis: Nineteen articles comprising thirteen randomized controlled trials (total participants Nexp=241, Nctrl=269), four con- trolled trials (Nexp=59, Nctrl=53) and two cohort studies (N.=27) were included. fourteen studies were conducted in stroke, three in parkinson’s disease, and two in multiple sclerosis population. Modalities of music-based interventions were clustered into four groups: instrument-based, listening-based, rhythm-based, and multicomponent-based music interventions. overall, studies consistently showed that music-based interven- tions had similar or larger effects than conventional rehabilitation on upper limb function (N.=16; fine motricity, hand and arm capacity, finger and hand tapping velocity/variability), mobility (N.=7; gait parameters), and cognition (N.=4; verbal memory and focused attention).

Conclusions: Variety of modalities using music-based interventions has been identified and grouped into four clusters. Effects of inter- ventions demonstrate an improvement in the domains assessed. Evidence is most available for improving motricity in stroke. More studies are warranted to investigate cognition as well as motor and cognition dysfunctions in combination. instrument-based music interventions can improve fine motor dexterity and gross motor functions in stroke. rhythm-based music interventions can improve gait parameters of velocity and cadence in stroke, parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. cognition in the domains of verbal memory and focused attention can improve after listening-based music interventions in stroke.

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