NIH-Kennedy Center initiative to study music therapy and brain disorders

Posted on: October 3, 2019

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is throwing in $20 million over five years to bring together music therapy and neuroscience and to study music’s potential to ease symptoms of an array of disorders including Parkinson’s disease, stroke and post-traumatic stress disorder,” writes Robin Seaton Jefferson in Saturday’s (9/28) Forbes.com. “The funds will support the first research projects of the Sound Health initiative—an NIH-Kennedy Center partnership—to explore the potential of music for treating a wide range of conditions…. The National Endowment for the Arts … also contributed to the awards…. ‘We know that the beat of a metronome can steady the gait of someone with Parkinson’s disease, for example, but we don’t fully understand how that happens,’ said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D…. Sound Health awardees will [study] how musical training affects attention, executive function, social/emotional functioning and language skills; examine mechanisms underlying the effects of music intervention on improving early speech and later language learning; … study musical rhythm synchronization as a mechanism of healthy social development … A series of Kennedy Center events have been focused on … the science of music and its role in health and well-being.”

Posted October 3, 2019