Heal Me, Amadeus!

Docs credit "Mozart effect" with improving epilepsy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 1:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – A British patient's epilepsy showed remarkable improvement after he started listening to 45 minutes of Mozart daily, the Independent reports. And while research is still sparse on the music's effect on epilepsy, some doctors speculate that his complex melodies stimulate the brain in a way other composers' works don't. "The organization of the cerebral cortex would seem to resonate with the architecture of Mozart's music," a doctor said.

The key may lie in the composer's unique use of repetition, which some say may function like repetitive electrical stimulation. In what's been dubbed the "Mozart effect," the maestro's music—particularly his K448 piano sonata—has also been credited with easing stress, helping arthritis pain, and boosting scores on vision and IQ tests. Some tests found even rats and fish benefited from a dose of Mozart.