Mental health implications of music: insight from neuroscientific and clinical studies

Authors: Shuai-Ting Lin, MD, Pinchen Yang, MD, Chien-Yu Lai, RN, PhD, Yu-Yun Su, RN, Yi-Chun Yeh, MD, Mei-Feng Huang, MD, and Cheng-Chung Chen, PhD
Publication:  Harvard Review of Psychology
Publication volume & date: January-February 2011, Vol. 19, No. 1 , Pages 34-46
DOI: doi:10.3109/10673229.2011.549769
Abridged summary:  “…The authors briefly review current literature related to music’s effect on people with different mental illnesses, and examine several neurobiological theories that may explain its effectiveness or lack thereof in treating psychiatric disorders. Neuroscientific studies have shown music to be an agent capable of influencing complex neurobiological processes in the brain and suggest that it can potentially play an important role in treatment. Clinical studies provide some evidence that music therapy can be used as an alternative therapy in treating depression, autism, schizophrenia, and dementia, as well as problems of agitation, anxiety, sleeplessness, and substance misuse, though whether it can actually replace other modes of treatment remains undetermined….”

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