Beat a stroke by banging a drum! How percussion therapy could transform the lives of thousands of sufferers

Mail Online | 1/13/2018 | Sophie Goodchild For Mail On Sunday
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Playing instruments such as the drums or cymbals can help people recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke.

A pilot study – the first of its kind in the UK – has found that patients taking part in percussion sessions twice a week improved the function in their arms and hands.

Findings - Therapy - Care - Tens - Thousands

The findings highlight how this therapy can potentially transform the care for tens of thousands people who suffer speech loss or other damage when the blood flow to their brain is cut off.

Dr Alexander Street, from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, said instruments that produce sound from being hit or scraped enable patients with less severe impairments to re-learn essential tasks such as dressing.

Drumstick - Movement - Jar - Example - Dr

‘Gripping a drumstick involves the same movement as opening a jar, for example,’ said Dr Street, a music therapist at the Music for Health Research Centre.

The advantage of percussion exercises is that they do not require musical expertise, and the strong repetitive beat improves learning by boosting brain focus. Strokes affect more than 150,000 people every year and cause more disability in adults than any other disease or condition.

Dr - Street - Research - Clinical - Rehabilitation

Dr Street’s research, published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, investigated the need for long-term support programmes for people leaving hospital or recovering.

Ten stroke patients, each with reduced function in one...
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