Amelioration of Psychiatric Symptoms Through Exposure to Music Individually Adapted to Brain Rhythm Disorders - a Randomised Clinical Trial on the Basis of Fundamental Research


Cognitive Neuropsychiatry




INTRODUCTION: This pilot study examined, whether long-term exposure of psychiatric patients to music that was individually adapted to brain rhythm disorders associated with psychoticism could act to ameliorate psychiatric symptoms. METHODS: A total of 50 patients with various psychiatric diagnoses were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to listen to CDs containing either music adapted to brain rhythm anomalies associated with psychoticism - measured via a specific spectral analysis - or standard classical music. Participants were instructed to listen to the CDs over the next 18 months. Psychiatric symptoms in both groups were assessed at baseline and at 4, 8 and 18 months, using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). RESULTS: At 18 months, patients in the experimental group showed significantly decreased BSI scores compared to control patients. Intriguingly, this effect was not only seen for symptoms of psychoticism and paranoia but also for anxiety, phobic anxiety and somatisation. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to the adapted music was effective in ameliorating psychotic, anxiety and phobic anxiety symptoms. Based on the theories of neuroplasticity and brain rhythms, it can be hypothesised that this intervention may be enhancing brain-rhythm synchronisation and plasticity in prefrontal-hippocampal circuits that are implicated in both psychosis/paranoia and anxiety/phobic anxiety.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Psychological Outcomes; Psychotic Disorders; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Elderly; Anxiety; Brain; Brain Waves; Compact Disks; Neuronal Plasticity; Paranoid Disorders; Pilot Projects; Psychotic Disorders; Self Report; adapted music; anxiety; brain rhythms; neuroplasticity; psychosis

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type