Music aids memory after stroke, study finds

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Listen up stroke victims: Musical therapy has been shown to significantly improve early recovery.

A Finland study, which is the first of its kind to show the link between music and stroke recovery, found that those who listen to music for a few hours a day during the early stages of recovery show better improvement in verbal memory and focused attention than those who listened to audio books or nothing at all.

Three months after the stroke, verbal memory improved from the first week post-stroke by 60% in music listeners, by 18% in audio book listeners and by 29% in nonlisteners, said study author Teppo Sarkamo, of the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki Brain Institute. Focused attention also improved among music listeners but not among the other groups. The study was published in the Feb. 20 issue of Brain.
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