Research - Epilepsy
Can Music Help People with Epilepsy?
Scans show brainwaves of those with disorder appear to synchronize with music
The brains of people with epilepsy appear to react to music differently from the brains of those who do not have the disorder, a finding that could lead to new therapies to prevent seizures, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd Annual Convention.
“We believe that music could potentially be used as an intervention to help people with epilepsy,” said Christine Charyton, PhD, adjunct assistant professor and visiting assistant professor of neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who presented the research.
Approximately 80 percent of epilepsy cases are what is known as temporal lobe epilepsy, in which the seizures appear to originate in the temporal lobe of the brain. Music is processed in the auditory cortex in this same region of the brain, which was why Charyton wanted to study the effect of music on the brains of people with epilepsy.
Charyton and her colleagues compared the musical processing abilities of the brains of people with and without epilepsy using an electroencephalogram, where electrodes are attached to the scalp to detect and record brainwave patterns. They collected data from 21 patients who were in the epilepsy monitoring unit at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center between September 2012 and May 2014.
The researchers recorded brainwave patterns while patients listened to 10 minutes of silence, followed by either Mozart’s Sonata in D Major, Andante Movement II (K448) or John Coltrane’s rendition of My Favorite Things, a second 10-minute period of silence, the other of the two musical pieces and finally a third 10-minute period of silence. The order of the music was randomized, meaning some participants listened to Mozart first and other participants listened to Coltrane first.
The researchers found significantly higher levels of brainwave activity in participants when they were listening to music. More important, said Charyton, brainwave activity in people with epilepsy tended to synchronize more with the music, especially in the temporal lobe, than in people without epilepsy.
“We were surprised by the findings,” said Charyton. “We hypothesized that music would be processed in the brain differently than silence. We did not know if this would be the same or different for people with epilepsy.”
While she does not believe music would replace current epilepsy therapy, Charyton said this research suggests music might be a novel intervention used in conjunction with traditional treatment to help prevent seizures in people with epilepsy.
Source : Newswise
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Fish oil (n-3 fatty acids) in drug resistant epilepsy: a randomised placebo-controlled crossover study
- Christopher M DeGiorgio,
- Patrick R Miller,
- Ronald Harper,
- Jeffrey Gornbein,
- Lara Schrader,
- Jason Soss,
- Sheba Meymandi
Background n-3 fatty acids inhibit neuronal excitability and reduce seizures in animal models. High-dose fish oil has been explored in two randomised trials in drug resistant epilepsy with negative results. We performed a phase II randomised controlled crossover trial of low-dose and high-dose fish oil in participants with drug resistant epilepsy to explore whether low-dose or high-dose fish oil reduces seizures or improves cardiovascular health.
Methods Randomised placebo-controlled trial of low-dose and high-dose fish oil versus placebo (corn oil, linoleic acid) in 24 participants with drug resistant epilepsy. A three-period crossover design was utilised lasting 42 weeks, with three 10-week treatment periods and two 6-week washout periods. All participants were randomised in double-blind fashion to receive placebo, high dose or low dose in different sequences. The primary outcome was per cent change in total seizure frequency.
Findings Low-dose fish oil (3 capsules/day, 1080 mg eicosapentaenoic acid+docosahexaenoic acid) was associated with a 33.6% reduction in seizure frequency compared with placebo. Low-dose fish oil was also associated with a mild but significant reduction in blood pressure. High-dose fish oil was no different than placebo in reducing seizures or improving cardiac risk factors.
Interpretation In this phase II randomised crossover trial, low-dose fish oil was effective in reducing seizures compared with placebo. The magnitude of improvement is similar to that of recent antiepileptic drug trials in drug resistant epilepsy (DRE). The results indicate that low-dose fish oil may reduce seizures and improve the health of people with epilepsy. These findings justify a large multicentre randomised trial of low-dose fish oil (n-3 fatty acids <1080 mg/day) in drug resistant epilepsy.
Source : J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry
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