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J Neurol Sci. 2015 May 15;352(1-2):41-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2015.03.016. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Tic-reducing effects of music in patients with Tourette's syndrome: Self-reported and objective analysis.

Author information

1
Münster University Hospital, Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Münster, Malmedyweg 15, Münster 48149, Germany. Electronic address: sabine.bodeck@uni-muenster.de.
2
Münster University Hospital, Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Münster, Malmedyweg 15, Münster 48149, Germany. Electronic address: clappe@uni-muenster.de.
3
Department of Neurology, Krankenhaus Lindenbrunn, Lindenbrunn 1, Coppenbrügge 31863, Germany. Electronic address: everss@uni-muenster.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Self-reports by musicians affected with Tourette's syndrome and other sources of anecdotal evidence suggest that tics stop when subjects are involved in musical activity. For the first time, we studied this effect systematically using a questionnaire design to investigate the subjectively assessed impact of musical activity on tic frequency (study 1) and an experimental design to confirm these results (study 2).

METHODS:

A questionnaire was sent to 29 patients assessing whether listening to music and musical performance would lead to a tic frequency reduction or increase. Then, a within-subject repeated measures design was conducted with eight patients. Five experimental conditions were tested: baseline, musical performance, short time period after musical performance, listening to music and music imagery. Tics were counted based on videotapes.

RESULTS:

Analysis of the self-reports (study 1) yielded in a significant tic reduction both by listening to music and musical performance. In study 2, musical performance, listening to music and mental imagery of musical performance reduced tic frequency significantly. We found the largest reduction in the condition of musical performance, when tics almost completely stopped. Furthermore, we could find a short-term tic decreasing effect after musical performance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-report assessment revealed that active and passive participation in musical activity can significantly reduce tic frequency. Experimental testing confirmed patients' perception. Active and passive participation in musical activity reduces tic frequency including a short-term lasting tic decreasing effect. Fine motor control, focused attention and goal directed behavior are believed to be relevant factors for this observation.

KEYWORDS:

Modified Rush Video-Based Tic Rating Scale (mRVRS); Music; Neural entrainment; Tic reduction; Tourette syndrome; Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS)

PMID:
25805454
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2015.03.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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