CINCINNATI, Ohio. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— Brain fog is a term that people use to describe problems with thinking, remembering, or focusing. It’s often a side effect of an illness like COVID, or medical treatment like chemotherapy for cancer. Scientists are studying the feasibility of treating brain fog with do-it-yourself music therapy, a downloadable app that could help clear the mind.
Music as medicine. It’s been used to calm anxious patients, but what about using music to improve brain function or cognition? Therapy that patients could do on their own.
“I wanted an app that could allow patients to express their musical ability,” detailed Soma Sengupta, M.D., Ph.D. a neuro-oncologist at University of Cincinnati.
Scientists at the University of Cincinnati developed Armcan Active Receptive Music for cancer patients. Researchers have designed the app for patients to use two ways. First, they can stream music to enjoy the music they love. The app also allows patients to actively participate by making their own music.
“In other words, to have musical turns where you could overlay genres and create your own music track,” Dr. Sengupta told Ivanhoe.
Patients will be assigned to a group that either listens to the music or creates the music. They’ll do that activity for 15 minutes every day.
“These technologies are sort of in a way helping the rewiring and exercising areas of the brain that normally wouldn’t do it,” explained Dr. Sengupta.
The researchers have begun randomized trials with breast cancer survivors experiencing brain fog. The team will evaluate patients using surveys and MRI scans at six, 12, and 18 months to see how the brain is changing during the music therapy.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer and Field Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; and Roque Correa, Editor.