Scientists study the effect of DIY music therapy on brain fog


CINCINNATI, Ohio. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Brain fog is a term people use to describe problems with thinking, memory or concentration. It is often a side effect of an illness like COVID, or of medical treatment like chemotherapy for cancer. Scientists are studying the feasibility of treating brain fog with do-it-yourself music therapy, a downloadable app that could help clear the mind.

Music as medicine. It has been used to calm anxiety patients, but what about using music to improve brain function or cognition? Therapy that patients could do on their own.

“I wanted an app that could allow patients to express their musical ability,” detailed Soma Sengupta, MD, Ph.D. neuro-oncologist at the University of Cincinnati.

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati have developed Armcan Active Receptive Music for cancer patients. Researchers designed the app for patients to use it in two ways. First of all, they can stream music to enjoy the music they like. The app also allows patients to actively participate by creating their own music.

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“In other words, to have musical turns where you can layer genres and create your own piece of music,” Dr. Sengupta told Ivanhoe.

Patients will be assigned to a group that listens to the music or creates the music. They will do this activity for 15 minutes each day.

“These technologies help in a way rewiring and exercising areas of the brain that normally wouldn’t,” explained Dr. Sengupta.

Researchers have started randomized trials with breast cancer survivors with brain fog. The team will assess patients using surveys and MRIs at six, 12 and 18 months to see how the brain changes during music therapy.

Contributors to this story are: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer and Field Producer; Kirk Manson, videographer; and Roque Correa, editor.

Copyright 2021 by Ivanhoe Newswire – All rights reserved.

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