Prematurely born children: the music therapy promotes brain development

the early-born children have a difficult Start in life. Thanks to medical advances, your chances of Survival have increased in recent years, however, solid. The

Prematurely born children: the music therapy promotes brain development

the early-born children have a difficult Start in life. Thanks to medical advances, your chances of Survival have increased in recent years, however, solid. The brains of children who come long before the expected date of the birth to the world, but are still immature and therefore vulnerable to permanent neurological damage. The damage to cognitive and psychological impairments, behavioural disorders, or movement disorders which remain beyond Childhood into adolescence and adulthood. In addition, the children's ward with light, sounds and pain are suspended in a neonatal intensive unavoidably a certain degree of Stress and the calming heartbeat of the mother is missing, just as suddenly as the protective environment of the mother.

music therapy for the early starter

From studies in humans and animals, it is known that positive listening experiences to promote the development of the brain and the Listening to music, neuro-biological processes, neurological Learning and the activity and formation of synapses supported. Previous studies have also shown that the Creative music therapy (creative music therapy, CMT) in early-born children have a positive impact on interference and thus damage in brain development. Here, specially-trained therapist to take the breathing pattern and physical signs such as from pain or restlessness of the children and support the children through Singing and humming the lullaby-style to self-regulate. If possible, the parents are not involved in the therapy and to one's own Singing lead; the therapy, e.g. during the "kangaroo" can be performed in case of skin contact with the mother or father, to support the binding.

The therapy causes apparent in the children of a noticeable relaxation in the respiratory frequency, but also of Gestures, or the facial expression. The physical proximity of mother and father reinforced the positive effects of the therapy. In addition, the often-existing Fears of the parents from low tide, which affects the children more reassuring. If the CMT effect is also detectable in the short and medium-term effect on neuronal development, and certain regions of the brain, was so far not been investigated.

MRI of children brains in your sleep

The musicologist and pioneer of Creative music therapy in the NICU Friederike Haslbeck was now together with a Team in the clinic for neonatology at the University hospital Zurich and the University children's hospital Zurich, in a study of the development and changes in the brains of prematurely born children in the music therapy study. In order to spare the children a maximum, was used for the study of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DTI). The method is used to study the brain and allows to draw conclusions on the course of the large nerve fiber bundle. Like the more familiar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the DTI is non-invasive, it requires no injection of contrast agents, the use of ionizing radiation. In the study, 82 children were included, half of the children received, in addition to the usual therapy two to three times a week music therapy during approximately 20 minutes, each child according to an individually prepared therapy plan. The duration of the stay of the children in the hospital was three to ten weeks, the number of Therapy sessions for eight to thirty. The examination in the MRI in each case was made during the natural sleep. You will not interfere in it, was placed the children also have hearing protection. For the safety of the heart rate and the oxygen saturation in the blood during the MRI continuously monitored. No child showed a negative impact of the investigation.

Visible effects of music therapy

The analysis of the data showed little influence of music therapy on the basic structures of the brain. "In the children with music therapy we found a significantly lower delay in the functional processes between the Thalamus and cerebral cortex, greater functional networks and an improved Interaction of various brain regions, including the motor skills and language relevant areas," summarizes Friederike Haslbeck the results. "We were able to demonstrate for the first Time with imaging a positive and thus protective effect of music therapy on brain development." In a large-scale follow-up study in several neonato technologies Switzerland Friederike Haslbeck wants to examine whether music therapy has a long-term positive impact on the development of preterm children.


Friederike Barbara Haslbeck et al. Creative music therapy to promote brain function and brain structure in preterm infants: A randomized controlled pilot studydoi: 10.1016/j. nicl.2020.102171

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Date Of Update: 16 August 2020, 07:27

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