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Music and Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury Blog by Patrick Hogan

April 20, 2012

Music Can Ease the Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

Every preschooler effortlessly learns the alphabet by singing a catchy tune. Both educators and neurologists have long understood music’s role in brain development and memory retention. Song and speech occupy separate but related areas of the brain. As demonstrated by research with the victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI), far from being merely a method of rote learning, music may actually open blocked channels or expose new pathways in the brain, speeding the language recovery of accident victims and stroke and dementia patients.

Understanding Aphasia

Aphasia is defined as a disability or impairment in language, whether written, read or spoken. One of the most devastating consequences of TBI is often the partial or complete loss of language. Sufferers are unable to communicate even basic thoughts. Although they know what they want to say, the trauma to the brain has destroyed the neural pathways that make speech possible. People with aphasia may find it difficult to assign names to ordinary objects or to complete simple sentences. Seemingly miraculously, however, they may be able to sing the phrases that elude them in speech.

A Prominent Case

The world reacted with shock when U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot during an assassination attempt in January 2011. Giffords’ injuries included severe brain trauma, and aphasia is one of the side effects that she struggles with to this day. As reported by a Florida head injury attorney the use of music therapy during her lengthy and continuing rehabilitation has made a significant impact on Gifford’s progress and quality of life. From being able to sing only the final word of a familiar musical phrase, she has progressed to the point of singing entire songs. Gifford’s case illustrates the importance of continuing to seek new therapies for TBI patients in the quest for recovery.

Practical Applications

Scientific advances in the understanding and treatment of traumatic brain injury enhance the benefits for everyone who struggles with this devastating condition. The beauty of music therapy is that it doesn’t require costly equipment or specialized knowledge to implement. Patients undergoing extensive and stressful speech rehabilitation report that simply listening to familiar music can relax them, and being able to sing along with beloved songs gives them a much-needed sense of accomplishment. People who suffer from mild or occasional aphasia can increase their quality of life by setting common tasks to simple tunes, or by singing phrases when spoken words escape them.




Be kind to others:)

Love and Peace
Melissa :)




 

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Bill Rainey Nu Country Music Show

Check on my country music song 4th of July playing on the Nashville Broadcasting Radio Network at http://nbrn.fm/ at Noon Central Time on Monday. Please request my song at bbrainey@hughes.net. Thanks for your support!

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Bill Rainey Nu Country Music Show MWF 12pm/10pm

Central Time http://www.loudcity. com/stations/nbrn-fm Check out the Bill Rainey ShowNu Country Show at Noon and 10pm Nashville time. Please request my country music song 4th of July and help support an Independent Nashville Recording Artist. Thank you Melissa request are sent to bbrainey@hughes.net

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  • Terry Johnson

    Terry Johnson Kennett Missouri

    Love your music Melissa. Also would like to present to you some lyrics of mine to you for viewing. God bless you

    Love your music Melissa. Also would like to present to you some lyrics of mine to you for viewing. God bless you

  • Gilbert

    Gilbert Scranton Pa

    Your music is "so addictive", Melissa! I am offically a "Melissa Coffey junkie" now hun! My fav song is "4th Of July"!! You ROCK Girl!!!

    Your music is "so addictive", Melissa! I am offically a "Melissa Coffey junkie" now hun! My fav song is "4th Of July"!! You ROCK Girl!!!

  • Trond Helmo

    Trond Helmo Norway

    Love Your songs

    Love Your songs

  • dj teddybear131

    dj teddybear131 greensboro nc.

    beautiful voice once you start listening you can't stop.....

    beautiful voice once you start listening you can't stop.....

  • WADE L. Smith  Rising Star Records Nashville ,tn. & Schererville,In.

    WADE L. Smith Rising Star Records Nashville ,tn. & Schererville,In. SCHERERVILLE,IN

    Melissa. I love your music . I would like to co-write 3 songs with you this year for2014 for you to record on your own label and also put out under rising star records also. Let me know if you'd like to do so asap. we can write the songs on line and bounce back and forth. i have some great lines for you in a few ideas i have. Love Your friend Always. I hope you liked the single cd covers i designed for you ofyour songs. Wade

    Melissa. I love your music . I would like to co-write 3 songs with you this year for2014 for you to record on your own label and also put out under rising star records also. Let me know if you'd like to do so asap. we can write the songs on line and bounce back and forth.
    i have some great lines for you in a few ideas i have. Love Your friend Always. I hope you liked the single cd covers i designed for you ofyour songs. Wade

  • Mac Ryder

    Mac Ryder Canoncito/Santa Fe,New Mexico.

    I really enjoy your music and your Friendship.. Mac's Over Night Stables..

    I really enjoy your music and your Friendship.. Mac's Over Night Stables..

  • Sue Henderson

    Sue Henderson Henderson Enterprises NYC

    Like your music...looking forward to our meeting.

    Like your music...looking forward to our meeting.

  • steve

    steve chicago suburbs

    4th of July ... very nice tune. good luck!

    4th of July ... very nice tune. good luck!

  • Ken Dulin

    Ken Dulin Sweet Home Oregon 97355

    It is nice to meet you and I'm looking forward to seeing more of you ha ha

    It is nice to meet you and I'm looking forward to seeing more of you ha ha

  • Melissa Coffey

    Melissa Coffey Santa Fe

    LET US NEVER FORGET WHAT HAPPENED TODAY.  Let us pray now and remember the victims and families of 9/11. God Bless America

    LET US NEVER FORGET WHAT HAPPENED TODAY.  Let us pray now and remember the victims and families of 9/11.
    God Bless America

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