Friday, August 19, 2005

Does Music Impact Epilepsy �

Does Music Impact Epilepsy �: "Does Music Impact Epilepsy �
For Bad Or For Good?

Does Music Impact Epilepsy � For Bad Or For Good?

His name was Kung Tsu Chen. He was a Chinese poet in 1847 when he described a rare but very real phenomenon now known as �musicogenic epilepsy�. With musicogenic epilepsy, the individual suffers from brain seizures that are triggered by music, and in his case a very specific kind of music. You see, Kung Tsu Chen recorded that though he didn�t know why, he would become sick when he would hear the sound of a street vendor�s flute during the evening sun.

Researchers tell us that this form of epilepsy can appear as a result of many kinds of music. In the case of our Chinese poet the trigger was apparently flute melodies, but seizures can be triggered by type of music, or type of instrument, the composer or even the emotional content of the piece. As a matter of fact, in some cases just thinking about the music, regardless of whether the individual is awake or not, is enough to trigger an epileptic seizure.

Exactly how musicogenic episodes are induced is unknown and unfortunately due to how few cases of musicogenic epilepsy in the world the research monies have not been available to study this question directly. It has been suggested, however, that the right temporal lobe of the brain contains, within the right auditory cortex, a series of modules that specialize in processing music. If this is so, the theory suggests, then musicogenic epilepsy is evidence of a malfunction of this part of the brain.

Fortunately, that�s not the end of the story. Music has also been found to have a profoundly positive effect on individuals with epilepsy as well. One research study even found that when epileptic patients are treated with music therapy "
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