Music Playing as a Therapeutic Tool in the Rehabilitation of Stroke: Jennifer Grau-Sánchez

School of Nursing and Occupational Therapy of Terrassa, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Listening to music, dancing or playing an instrument are common activities in our daily lives, being highly significant for most people. Traditionally, the therapeutic use of music was based on its potential to induce emotions and regulate mood. Recently, and thanks to advances in the field of cognitive neuroscience, musical interventions have emerged as a promising tool in the field of neurorehabilitation. On the one hand, the multisensory nature of music makes unique demands on the nervous system. On the other hand, music therapies integrate most key learning principles and include emotional and motivational aspects. Based on these arguments, numerous studies demonstrate the effectiveness of music-based therapies in the neurorehabilitation of people who have suffered a stroke, traumatic brain injury or have neurodegenerative diseases.

This lecture aims to offer a comprehensive and integrative view of the use of music in neurorehabilitation. Following an evidence-based approach and a translational perspective, I will introduce the brain structures involved in musical processing and the plastic mechanisms associated with musical learning. Then, I will present the scientific work of our group at the University of Barcelona that demonstrates the benefits of Music-supported Therapy in the motor, cognitive and emotional rehabilitation of people who have suffered a stroke. The different clinical studies we have conducted show that people treated with Music-supported Therapy improve the motor function of the upper extremity, present less fatigue, and have a better quality of life after the treatment. I will also discuss the mechanisms of brain plasticity that promote recovery and present our most recent development of an app to deliver Music-supported Therapy as a telerehabilitation intervention.

Jennifer Grau Sánchez, PhD, Occupational therapist, is research professor at School of Nursing and Occupational Therapy of Terrassa, Autonomous University of Barcelona and director of the research group on Complex Health Diagnoses and Interventions from Occupation and Care, OCCARE group.


Die Vortragsreihe „MUSIK & MEDIZIN“ präsentiert wissenschaftliche und künstlerische Beiträge führender internationaler Expert*innen verschiedener Disziplinen, um die Wechselwirkungen und Mechanismen zwischen Erfahrung, Verarbeitung und psychophysiologischen Auswirkungen von Musik auf den Menschen zu untersuchen und zu verstehen, wie Musik Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden fördern kann.
Die jeweiligen Vorträge sind auch Teil einer disziplinübergreifenden Lehrveranstaltung, in der an den Schnittstellen der Disziplinen jeweils Themen aus dem Forschungsumfeld der eingeladenen Vortragenden diskutiert werden.

Konzeption und Organisation Reihe „Musik & Medizin“:
Katarzyna Grebosz-Haring (Systematische Musikwissenschafterin | PB (Inter)Mediation, Interuniversitäre Einrichtung Wissenschaft und Kunst | Universität Mozarteum Salzburg / Universität Salzburg).
In Zusammenarbeit mit Günther Bernatzky (Biologe | Fachbereich Biowissenschaften, Ökologie und Evolution, Universität Salzburg) und Leonhard Thun-Hohenstein (Kinder- und Jugendpsychiater | Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität Salzburg)

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