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A Rationale for Music Training to Enhance Executive Functions in Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview of the Problem

1
Music Therapy, University of Miami, Frost School of Music 5499 San Amaro Dr., N306, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA
2
Music Education, University of South Florida, School of Music, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., MUS 101, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
3
Department of Music, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR 97116, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2018, 6(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6020035
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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PDF [221 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]

Abstract

Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation), and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC) and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC). Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA) and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed) in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). View Full-Text
Keywords: Parkinson’s Disease; executive functions; music training; fine motor; cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC) Parkinson’s Disease; executive functions; music training; fine motor; cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lesiuk, T.; Bugos, J.A.; Murakami, B. A Rationale for Music Training to Enhance Executive Functions in Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview of the Problem. Healthcare 2018, 6, 35.

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