Singing May Benefit Stroke Survivors And Their Caregivers Too

Singing May Benefit Stroke Survivors And Their Caregivers Too

Many stroke survivors experience a communication disorder called aphasia. Singing-based group rehabilitation can improve their language function and psychosocial wellbeing, say experts.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : December 31, 2022 10:01 AM IST

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), mainly ischemic heart disease and stroke, are responsible for the highest number of deaths worldwide. A stroke, also known as brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted due to a clot or ruptures. Not only stroke can be fatal, but it can leave survivors paralyzed and affect their ability to communicate. Nearly 40 per cent of stroke survivors experience aphasia, a communication disorder that affects their speech, writing, and ability to understand or produce spoken or written language. This language impairment persists for up to one year after the stroke in half of the stroke survivors, affecting their quality of life and even leads to social isolation.

The question is what can be done to help stroke survivors improve their language function and psychosocial wellbeing? Singing-based rehabilitation may be helpful for them, say researchers from the University of Helsinki.

Not only singing-based group rehabilitation can benefit the patients but also their family caregivers, according to the research team, which include Postdoctoral Researcher Sini-Tuuli Siponkoski.

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The benefits of singing in stroke recovery

According to Doctoral Researcher Anni Pitk niemi, they used a wide variety of singing elements, such as choral singing, melodic intonation therapy and tablet-assisted singing training in aphasia rehabilitation. The sessions were conducted by a trained music therapist and a trained choir conductor.

Generally, the melodic intonation therapy is used as individual therapy in aphasia rehabilitation. It trains patients to progress from singing towards speech production. But the University of Helsinki researchers suggest that singing-based group rehabilitation should be part of aphasia rehabilitation in healthcare.

In addition to improving the language function and the psychosocial wellbeing of stroke survivors, group-based rehabilitation provides an excellent opportunity for peer support both for the patients and their families.

Things that can raise your odds of getting a stroke

High blood pressure or hypertension is understood as the biggest cause of strokes. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to ruptures of blood vessels in your brain, known as Hemorrhagic stroke. If your blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher, talk to a doctor.

Smoking, even secondhand smoke, and use of tobacco products can increase your risk of getting a stroke. Nicotine in tobacco can increase blood pressure. Smoking can lead to build-up of fatty material on artery walls. Chemicals in cigarette smoke can make blood thicker and form clots.

Being overweight can also make more prone to having a stroke. Your chances of having a stroke go up as you get older. People with diabetes and heart disease, including defective heart valves, atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, are more likely to have a stroke. Certain medications like blood-thinning drugs, hormone therapy, birth control pills, are also linked with a higher risk of stroke.