Music in the Recovering Brain after Stroke

PI Teppo Särkämö

Time frame 2004–2018

Description In our ageing society, the number of elderly persons suffering a stroke in increasing, and novel ways to aid recovery are needed. Comprising three consecutive clinical studies, this project explores the use of music listening in the rehabilitation of acute stroke, aiming to (i) determine the impact of daily music listening on cognitive and emotional recovery; (ii) explore what hormonal, and neural mechanisms underlie the rehabilitative efficacy of music; and (iii) find out what type of songs, technology, and applications are optimal for delivering music to stroke patients. In addition, our aim is to (iv) explore the neural basis of acquired amusia after stroke.

Results Our first study (2004-2007) showed that daily music listening improved the recovery of memory, attention, and mood (Särkämö et al. 2008), enhanced the neural encoding of sound changes (Särkämö et al. 2010), and induced structural neuroplastic changes in frontolimbic regions (Särkämö et al. 2014) in the recovering brain. The first results of our second study showed that acquired amusia is linked to a specific pattern of lesions and degenerative changes in right temporal and subcortical areas (Sihvonen et al. 2016).

Methods randomized controlled trial (RCT), neuropsychological/perceptual/cognitive/behavioral tests, mood and quality of life questionnaires, hormonal measures (e.g., cortisol, oxytocin), structural neuroimaging measures (sMRI, DTI, VBM, VLSM), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Keywords music listening, audio books, stroke, recovery, neuroplasticity

People Prof. Mari Tervaniemi, PhD, Vera Leo, MA, Dr. Aleksi Sihvonen, MD, Tommi Makkonen, MSc

Collaborators Prof. Seppo Soinila, PhD, MD, Department of Neurology, Turku University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Prof. Riitta Parkkola, PhD, MD, Medical Imaging Centre of Southwest Finland, Turku University Hospital, Prof. Matti Laine, PhD, Department of Psychology, Åbo Akademi University, Dr. Marja Hietanen, PhD, Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Prof. Taina Autti, PhD, MD, Department of Radiology, HUS Medical Imaging Centre, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Dr. Heli Silvennoinen, PhD, MD, Department of Radiology, HUS Medical Imaging Centre, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Dr. Elina Pihko, PhD, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University, Prof. Jaakko Erkkilä, PhD, Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä, Music therapist Sari Laitinen, LicPhil, Puolarmetsä Hospital, Espoo, Music therapist Anita Forsblom, PhD, Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä, Music therapists Terhi Lehtovaara, Aki Ylönen and Pekka Rajanaro, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Isabelle Peretz, PhD, International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS), University of Montréal, Canada, Prof. Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells, PhD and Pablo Ripolles, MSc, Cognition and Brain Plasticity Unit, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Centre, University of Barcelona, Spain, Prof. Julie Bernhardt, PhD, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia

Funding Academy of Finland, Ministry of Education (Doctoral Programme of Psychology), Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnish Brain Research and Rehabilitation Foundation, Finnish Medical Foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, Miina Sillanpää Foundation