Show Details

Music and Parkinson’s

June 12, 2006

An experimental treatment for Parkinson’s symptoms doesn’t even require a prescription.


Treatment with tempo. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

[Music clip: In the Mood]

In the 40s, this tune put people in the mood to move. And now a team from Massachusetts General Hospital is investigating whether this song and others like it could help people with Parkinson’s move more easily. Parkinson’s patients sometimes freeze in place because they have damage to parts of the brain that control movement. But student researcher Adam Koss says listening to music may activate healthy parts of the brain, which can then come to the aid of the damaged parts.

ADAM KOSS (Massachusetts General Hospital):
You have a way to bypass the damaged area and thereby, using that healthy area, be able to move.

Koss says results from a pilot study were promising, and adds listening to upbeat music has no known negative side effects.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.