Eat. Speak. Breathe

Research BLOG

Music therapy is?


Music therapy is evidence-based professional clinical application of music and its elements to improve psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical and social health and wellbeing of human individuals and communities (Davis, Gfeller, Thaut, & American Music Therapy Association, 2008), (Pedersen & Wigram 2002), (Wheeler, 2015), (Hanser, 2018).

#definingMT #simpleterms

New hope (for familial ALS)

Injection of virus-delivered gene silencer blocks ALS degeneration, saves motor function

“The new approach involves injecting shRNA—an artificial RNA molecule capable of silencing or turning off a targeted gene—that is delivered to cells via a harmless adeno-associated virus. In the new research, single injections of the shRNA-carrying virus were placed at two sites in the spinal cord of adult mice expressing an ALS-causing mutation of the SOD1 gene, either just before disease onset or when the animals had begun showing symptoms”.

“In adult mice already displaying ALS-like symptoms, the injection effectively blocked further disease progression and degeneration of motor neurons”.

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The study in is intermission for the period of 1 March 2019 – 1 September 2019 due to the lack of funding (we are £4731.00 short). Kindly contact Ms. Alisa Apreleva, the principal researcher, if you can help.

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Music Therapy Supports Bulbar Functions in ALS: MNDA Symposium 2018, Glasgow, UK

Vowel Space Area changes tell a story of hope for people with ALS

Have I mentioned my deep appreciation for speech language specialists and physical therapists? Their findings, experience and advice have been indispensable for developing music therapy protocol to support independent breathing, speech, cough and swallowing for persons living with ALS. Yet more – for measuring the effect of the music therapy treatment during this research.

I spent two days last week at MGH Institute of Health Professions Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, brainstorming the most efficient ways to tackle acoustic speech analysis. My first Master’s and postgraduate research was in linguistics, but I have never considered I would go back to spectrograms! But I am grateful that colleagues at the lab advised me to do so. Visual representations of the changes in vowel space area are telling a wonderful story of hope for persons with early and mid-stage ALS. 

Vowel space area changes in ALS with music therapy treatment: the larger is the area within the dots – the more distinct are the vowels, or, simply put, clearer the speech.

Baseline 1 (self-control, week 1)

Pre treatment (natural decline, week 6)

Post treatment (music therapy effect, week 12)

Follow up (lasting effect, with continued independent exercises, week 16)

Music Therapy for PALS and CALS: quick guide

Just reposting the Music Therapy for PALS and CALS guide here again, so it is easier to find it. As always – I will be happy to answer your questions!


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MNDA Symposium, 6 December 2018, Glasgow, UK

Presentation slides with preliminary research findings. Let me know what you think! I will be happy to answer your questions.


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