The Use of Music Therapy on Stroke Victims
When normal blood flow to the brain fails, a stroke occurs, there are more than 780,000 strokes every year in the United States causing more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease that number is expected to increase in the coming years. (Know Stroke). While preventing strokes is obviously a goal, the development of successful rehabilitation strategies is equally important. Music therapy has shown promise as a way to help stroke victims recover a variety of lost functionality.
There are two main types of stroke ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood vessels are blocked, usually by a clot. This accounts for four in five strokes. Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a broken or leaking blood vessel in the brain (NIH). The effects of a stroke vary by its type, severity and location within the brain. A stroke may affect only one side of the body or part of one side. It can cause cognitive deficits, muscle weakness or paralysis. A stroke in the right half of the brain can cause visuospatial issues, impaired judgment and behavior, along with short-term memory loss. A stroke in the left half of the brain can cause speech and language problems, slow and cautious behavior, as well as memory problems. A stroke in the cerebellum can cause abnormal reflexes, balance problems, and dizziness, nausea, or vomiting (Office on Women’s Health).
The total cost of stroke in the US is estimated at $43 billion per year. Rehabilitation accounts for an estimated 16% of that (NINDS). With strokes, there are the direct costs of providing medical care to patients and the indirect costs associated with lost productivity. In a study estimating the lifetime cost in the United States by type of stroke for individuals experiencing a first stroke in 1990, researchers found an average cost of $103,576 for all stroke subtypes. Indirect costs accounted for 58% of lifetime costs (Taylor).
There are three types of...