The Clinical Application and Mechanism of Music Therapy (Mozart's Effect) on Epilepsy


Kaohsiung Medical University






Behavioral: music listening

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Music has a long history in healing physical and mental illness. The Mozart effect was initially reported by Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky in the journal of "Nature" in the year of 1993. They examined performance on Stanford-Binet spatial tasks immediately following either 10 minutes of listening to Mozart's sonata K.448, silence, or instruction to relax. They found the performance scores were 9 point higher in Mozart-listening group than other two groups. Later, the beneficial influence of Mozart music on parkinson's disease, epilepsy, senile dementia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was reported. However, the real neurophysiological mechanism of the influence remains unclear. Epilepsy is a common disorder in the field of pediatric neurology. Although we had greatly advanced in develop of new anticonvulsant, thirty percent of patients with epilepsy have drug-resistance, which is associated with an increased risk of debilitating psychosocial consequences. In addition, the adverse effects of anticonvulsants are not uncommon. Few reports demonstrated that patients exposed to Mozart's music can significantly decrease in seizure frequencies and interictal epileptiform discharge. However, the case number of these studies was limited and the mechanisms of music therapy on epilepsy were not well known. In our recent studies, Mozart's music indeed decreased the epileptifrom discharge in the patients with epilepsy, particularly in the patients with generalized discharge and central discharge. On the basis of these encouraging results, we will try to investigate the neural mechanisms and clinical applications of music therapy in the following three years. In the first year of our study, we use animal model to examine the possible mechanism of Mozart's effect. The aim of the second year study is investigation the effect of music on the cortical functions in the epileptic rat model. According to our previous study, Mozart's sonata K.448 was effective in reducing epileptiform discharge. On the basis of previous two-year results, the patients with epilepsy will be enrolled in the third year project to perform an individualized music therapy. In this study, we can provide an alternative therapy in the patients of epilepsy and investigate the possible biological mechanism of music effect.

Full description

Children with first unprovoked seizure were investigated.Patients were randomly classified into treatment and control groups. They did not receive AED after their first unprovoked seizure. The treatment group listened to Mozart K.448 for eight minutes once daily before bedtime for at least six months.All of the patients received follow-up telephone calls monthly. Patients who experienced seizure recurrence were advised to begin AED treatment.


46 patients




Under 18 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

children who had epileptiform discharges with first unprovoked seizure

Exclusion criteria

epileptic children without epileptiform discharges

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

46 participants in 1 patient group

music listening, no music
Experimental group
The clinical application and mechanism of music therapy The clinical application and mechanism of music therapy (Mozart's effect) on epilepsy (Mozart's effect) on epilepsy
Behavioral: music listening

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