Professor Emeritus Lee Bartel of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music told the Globe and Mail (theglobeandmail.com) that Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and other symptoms of a variety of medical conditions could be relieved by exposing patients to specific sound frequencies. Bartel, who has studied the effects of vibroacoustic therapy – where patients are exposed to vibration-inducing sounds at a frequency of 40 Hz – said the procedure was associated with improvements in mood and cognitive ability.
Bartel says that the effects may be attributable to the ability of sound to “re-regulate” dormant neural circuits in the brain. He noted that the low cost and easy administration of sound therapy could see it eventually become popular as a therapeutic option for various conditions.
“In the future, if we continue to see positive results, the medical community may start prescribing it,” Bartel says. Professor Bartel has a special interest in applications of music in health conditions of aging and is well known for his research and design of music for brain effects with 24 albums on Solitudes and SonicAid. He currently has research studies underway in: music enjoyment ability retraining (Music-EAR) approaches for cochlear implant recipients at Sunnybrook Health Sciences; Rhythmic Sensory Stimulation (RSS) for Cardio Rehab at Toronto Rehab; RSS and Fibromyalgia at Mount Sinai Hospital; RSS and major depression at UHN, and RSS and Alzheimers at Baycrest