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Music Training Could Help Autism, ADHD

Music Training Could Help Autism, ADHD

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By    |   Wednesday, 23 November 2016 02:13 PM

Taking music lessons increases brain connections in children and could be useful in treating certain developmental brain conditions, a new study says.

It’s known that music can aid brain development in children, and also that it can those with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), so researchers decided to look at the effects of musical training on children.

Researchers from Mexico decided to study 13 healthy children between the ages of five and six years old.

The study participants underwent pre- and post-musical-training evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique, which identifies microstructural changes in the brain's white matter

All of the children were right handed and had no history of sensory, perception or neurological disorders. None of the children had been trained in any artistic discipline in the past.

The study participants underwent pre- and post-musical-training evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique, which identifies microstructural changes in the brain's white matter.

The brain's white matter is composed of millions of nerve fibers called axons that act like communication cables connecting various regions of the brain.

Over the course of life, the maturation of brain tracts and connections between motor, auditory and other areas allow the development of numerous cognitive abilities, including musical skills.

The study participants underwent pre- and post-musical-training evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique, which identifies microstructural changes in the brain's white matter.

After the children in the study completed nine months of musical instruction using Boomwhackers – percussion tubes cut to the exact length to create pitches in a diatonic scale.

DTI results showed an increase in FA and axon fiber length in different areas of the brain, most notably in the minor forceps, the study shows.

"When a child receives musical instruction, their brains are asked to complete certain tasks," says Dr. Pilar Dies-Suarez said. "These tasks involve hearing, motor, cognition, emotion and social skills, which seem to activate these different brain areas."

"These results may have occurred because of the need to create more connections between the two hemispheres of the brain,” he adds, noting that he believes the study’s results could be used in creating targeted strategies for intervention in treating disorders like autism and ADHD.

The study will be presented at annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).


 

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A new study shows that music training could help boost children's brainpower and possibly help those with autism and ADHD.
Music, autism, ADHD, children, brain
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2016-13-23
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 02:13 PM
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