A Mozart playlist improved mortality in epileptic mice, surprising study finds
- 80% of epileptic mice exposed to Mozart survived by the end of the 21-day study
- Only 50% of control epileptic mice, who were not exposed to music, survived
- The researchers at Utah said the findings were ‘fascinating’, ‘unexpected’, and ‘a huge discovery’
Exposure to a Mozart playlist extended the lifespan of mice with epilepsy, a surprising new study found.
Leading epilepsy researcher Dr Grzegorz Bulaj, at the University of Utah Health, says the finding is ‘a huge discovery.’
People with epilepsy have an incredibly high mortality rate, with risk of death up to three times higher due to seizures and unexplained sudden death syndrome.
But in a new study, mice who listened to music while taking their medication were less likely to suffer premature death than their epileptic peers that weren’t exposed to music.
Music therapy is known to have physiological effects, but there has never been so much potential for that to be democratized using cell phone apps (file image)
By the end of the study, more than 80 percent of the music-exposed epileptic mice were still alive, compared to just 50 percent of the epileptic controls.
They believe it could be to do with the playlist’s impacts on inflammation, which could boost cardiovascular health.
‘It’s fascinating,’ lead author Dr Bulaj, who has studied epilepsy for decades, told DailyMail.com.
‘That fact that such a benign intervention like exposure to music can improve mortality is very unexpected and very exciting.’
Dr Bulaj’s team arrived at this finding while studying whether music boosted the effects of medication.
Music therapy is known to have physiological effects, but there has never been so much potential for that to be democratized using cell phone apps.
Dr Bulaj wanted to see whether mice exposed to a playlist on an app would see the same benefits as people see when they visit a music therapist.
They administered a few drugs to mice with either inflammatory or surgical pain. Half the mice were exposed to their specific Mozart playlist during medication, and half were not.
They found boosted the effects of ibuprofen, reducing inflammation in mice by 93 percent, compared to 70 percent without music.
The immediate effects of music were not as powerful for epilepsy medication, but, to their surprise, the researchers at the University of Utah Health found epileptic mice exposed to Mozart lived longer than their peers.
‘The reduction in mortality and post-kindling seizure burden in the kindling model suggests the potential for music-mediated disease burden and validates use of this strain for additional testing,’ Bulaj and his co-authors wrote in the study.