Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Singing for stroke patients - aphasia therapy

I've previously told my story about how singing seemed to help in my recovery from aphasia, an effect of my 1998 stroke.

Now, here's another story of how singing does stroke patients good:
Photo from Scott W. Vincent via Flickr
In a hospital atrium at Mount Sinai Beth Israel this week, a choir gave its first public performance. Wearing light-up necklaces and accompanied by drums and guitar, the performers rang bells and sang such holiday classics as “Silver Bells” and “Joy to the World,” occasionally breaking out in harmony.
While every member of the choir sings, some are united by a less common bond: They have lost much of their ability to speak.
The group, Singing Together Measure by Measure, is made up of those who have had strokes and those who care for them, both family members and health-care professionals. It is part of a clinical trial, led by Joanne Loewy, director of the hospital’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, creating therapy around a phenomenon that has been noted for centuries: that some people who can’t speak can still sing.
Technically, the study is focused on a condition called aphasia, a brain disorder that causes difficulties speaking and communicating but doesn’t necessarily affect intelligence.

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