C Nombela, C L Rae, J A Grahn, R A Barker, A M Owen, and J B Rowe (2013)
How often does music and rhythm improve patients’ perception of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease?
Journal of Neurology, 260:1404-1405.
There is a strong interest in combining pharmacological treatments with non-drug therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD). One such non-pharmacological therapy is music and rhythm stimulation, with anecdotal benefits and favorable preliminary clinical studies. It is suggested that the rhythmic properties of music reduce certain motor features of PD , perhaps by entraining the brain mechanisms that control timing, sequencing and coordination of movements . Early investigations into the effect of auditory rhythms on movement and PD were promising , and their benefits and possible modes of action confirmed by recent neuroimaging studies . However, we noticed an apparent discrepancy between the evolving literature on music, rhythm and PD, and the frequency of spontaneously reported benefits of music from patients in the clinic. We therefore asked: how commonly do patients themselves perceive an improvement in their motor symptoms with music and rhythm?