Effects of musicokinetic therapy and spinal cord stimulation on patients in a persistent vegetative state
We developed a method of musicokinetic therapy (MKT), employing a trampoline with live music performance (saxophone or electric piano), in an attempt to improve the clinical condition of patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). As an initial step for assessing the effect of MKT on PVS, we analyzed the changes in PVS score (range: 0–30) after MKT, which was continued for 3 months, in a consecutive series of 26 patients. These patients fulfilled the definition of PVS adopted by the Multi-Society Task Force on PVS. In this series, 7 patients were being treated by spinal cord stimulation at the same time. We, therefore, also had an opportunity to examine the effect of spinal cord stimulation on PVS. A greater or lesser improvement in PVS score (post-MKT score — pre-MKT score, mean ± SD: 8.27 ± 5.52) was observed in all patients except one. Among 12 patients who had been in PVS for 1 year or more before the initiation of MKT, 7 patients (56.3%) demonstrated improvement of their PVS score by 5 or more, and 4 patients (33.3%) reached a post-MKT score of greater than 20. The condition defined as PVS can never be scored better than 20. Since it is commonly felt that spontaneous improvement rarely occurs if PVS has continued for more than 6 months, the improvement after MKT appears to be better than that which could be observed spontaneously. The improvement in PVS score was often noted in patients with brain damage caused by trauma or SAH. There was no significant difference in improvement of the PVS score between patients who were treated by spinal cord stimulation and those who were not. Although the present study did not directly prove an effect of MKT on PVS, because no controls were involved, the results were consistent with the hypothesis that MKT is useful for improving the clinical condition of patients in PVS, especially those with severe brain damage caused by trauma or SAH.
KeywordMusicokinetic therapy persistent vegetative state brain damage spinal cord stimulation
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