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Music and the Brain – Edward’s Story

Although listening to music is not a cure for epilepsy or mental health issues, it can be an effective and enjoyable tool for reducing the symptoms of numerous conditions, including: seizures, chronic pain, depression and anxiety.

We already know that listening to certain types of music can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels and even boost learning. But now listening to music may also help prevent seizures in people with epilepsy.

Individuals each have connections with music they enjoy, and simply listening to music encourages positive changes in mood, possible reduction in seizures, a distraction from pain and overall well-being. Researchers advise that brain wave activity in epilepsy patients tended to synchronize more with the music, especially in the temporal lobe.

Music won’t replace current epilepsy treatments, but might offer a new method of treatment to use in conjunction with traditional approaches for coping with epilepsy and possibly help prevent seizures.

I am sixty-three (63) years old and have been fighting a daily battle with epilepsy for the past thirty-three (33) years of my life. My epilepsy is more than daily seizures – I fight an ongoing battle with: balance issues, anxiety, memory loss, severe chronic head pain, medication side effects and depression,

Years ago, I found that listening to music that I enjoy had a powerful positive effect on my mind. So, I reached out to the styles of music I truly enjoyed and played cd’s with that music as background music for me at home. I quickly found that the music was a positive distraction that made my coping with epilepsy and functioning in life easier. Then I found a device called the Amazon Echo which is a smart home device, personal assistant and speaker in one. I then joined Alexa and Amazon Prime Music online and I now have easy access to over two million songs by simply telling Alexa to play the songs I want to hear (example: “Alexa play: “Listen to the Music” by the Doobie Brothers). Immediately Alexa will play the songs – wow! I then found that I could generate various playlists with my favorited music and Alexa could play music I enjoy for hours.

In those situations when I am dealing with chronic pain and/or depression – I go to my dark bedroom and simply rest and listen to the music. The music makes it possible to cope with what I am going thru and ride these situations out. The end result is playing my favorite music has made a tremendous difference for me as a regular treatment for my epilepsy.

So, can music help people with epilepsy? “Yes, the power of playing music benefits your brain health in surprising ways.”

(Note: I am not a medical professional – I am simply an individual who has epilepsy and is sharing information.)

References:

1.) Huffington Post
Music Therapy May Hold Promise for Treating Epilepsy
By Carolyn Gregoire
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-music-can-help-people-with-epilepsy_n_55c8b8ebe4b0923c12bd6c21

2.) Health News
Music Therapy Shows Promise Against Epilepsy
https://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/epilepsy-music-treatment-study/2015/08/09/id/669212/

3.) American Psychological Association
Can Music Help People with Epilepsy?
https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/music-epilepsy

4.) Cure Epilepsy
Edward Crane – My Story
https://www.cureepilepsy.org/personal_stories/edwards-story/