Monday, October 31, 2011

Listening to Mozart seems to trigger neurons that make the brain function better--and saves lives!

This story is about making the brain work better--much better, in the case of one doctor who tripled his polyp detection rate when listening to Mozart.

Could Mozart Decrease Your Risk of Colon Cancer?
By Katie Moisse
ABC News
Oct 31, 2011

Doctors were more likely to detect precancerous polyps during colonoscopies if they had Mozart playing in the background, a small study found.

It only included two doctors, but for one, listening to Mozart more than tripled the polyp detection rate from 21.25 percent to 66.7 percent, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston reported today at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting. Undetected, the polyps — called adenomas — can become cancerous.

“Anything we can do get those rates up has the potential to save lives,” study author Dr. Catherine Noelle O’Shea said in a statement. “While this is a small study, the results highlight how thinking outside the box — in this case using Mozart — to improve adenoma detection rates can potentially prove valuable to physicians and patients.”

The polyp detection rate for the other doctor studies rose from 27.16 percent to 36.7 percent.

The study adds weight to the “Mozart effect” — the long-standing observation that listening to music can lead to a short-term improvement on some mental tasks. Some experts attribute the performance boost to a more positive mood or increased arousal. Others say complex music triggers a response in the brain that makes it better equipped to tackle an additional task...

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