Patients achieved a greater degree of independence
after receiving spinal cord stimulation, Dr. Jog said. For
example, one patient no longer had to rely on a wheelchair or scooter to get around, and one patient no longer
needed help getting out of a chair. One patient was able
to resume working in fields, and one patient was able
to walk on a beach. “Everybody improved to different
levels. The improvement occurred immediately in the
laboratory,” he said.
No adverse events were reported. The researchers
plan to conduct further studies. Because spinal cord
stimulation already is available for the treatment of pain,
it may be feasible to pair a spinal cord stimulation device
with a sensor system that allows physicians to optimize
the stimulator’s settings for the treatment of gait dys-
function in Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Jog said. NR
de Andrade EM, Ghilardi MG, Cury RG, et al. Spinal cord stimulation for Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review. Neurosurg Rev. 2016;39( 1): 27-35.
Pinto de Souza C, Hamani C, Oliveira Souza C, et al. Spinal cord stimulation
improves gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease previously treated with deep
brain stimulation. Mov Disord. 2017; 32( 2):278-282.
Learning With Music Can Change Brain Structure
Moore E, Schaefer RS, Bastin ME, et al. Diffusion tensor MRI tractography reveals increased fractional anisotropy (FA) in arcuate fasciculus following
music-cued motor training. Brain Cogn. 2017;116:40-46.
Using musical cues to learn a physical task significantly develops an important part of the brain, according to a study
published in Brain & Cognition.
People who practiced a basic movement task to music
showed increased structural connectivity between the regions of the brain that process sound and control movement. The findings focus on white matter pathways. The
study could have positive implications for future research
into rehabilitation for patients who have lost some degree
of movement control.
Thirty right-handed volunteers were separated into two
groups and charged with learning a new task involving
sequences of finger movements with the left hand. One
group learned the task with musical cues, the other group
After four weeks of practice, both groups of volunteers performed equally well at learning the sequences,
researchers at the University of Edinburgh found. MRI
showed that the music group had a significant increase in
structural connectivity in the white matter tract that links
auditory and motor regions on the right side of the brain.
The nonmusic group had no change.
The researchers hope that future study with larger numbers of participants will examine whether music can help
with special kinds of motor rehabilitation programs, such
as after a stroke. “This study provides the first experimental evidence that adding musical cues to learning a new
motor task can lead to changes in white matter structure
in the brain,” said Katie Overy, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the
University of Edinburgh.