Mozart's music in children with drug-refractory epileptic encephalopathies

Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Sep:50:18-22. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.05.038. Epub 2015 Jun 18.


Mozart's sonata for two pianos in D major, K448, has been shown to decrease interictal EEG discharges and recurrence of clinical seizures in both adults and young patients. In this prospective, open-label study, we evaluated the effect of listening to a set of Mozart's compositions, according to the Tomatis method, on sleep quality and behavioral disorders, including auto-/hetero-aggression, irritability, and hyperactivity, in a group of children and adolescents with drug-resistant epilepsy. The study group was composed of 11 outpatients (7 males and 4 females), between 1.5years and 21years of age (mean age: 11.9years), all suffering from drug-resistant epileptic encephalopathy (n=11). All of them had a severe/profound intellectual disability associated with cerebral palsy. During the study period, each patient had to listen to a set of Mozart's compositions 2h per day for fifteen days for a total of 30h, which could be distributed over the day depending on the habits and compliance of each patient. The music was filtered by a device preferably delivering higher sound frequencies (>3000Hz) according to the Tomatis principles. The antiepileptic drug therapy remained unchanged throughout the study period. During the 15-day music therapy, 2 out of 11 patients had a reduction of 50-75% in seizure recurrence, and 3 out of 12 patients had a reduction of 75-89%. Overall, 5 (45.4%) out of 11 patients had a ≥50% reduction in the total number of seizures, while the percentage decrease of the total seizure number (11/11) compared with baseline was -51.5% during the 15-day music therapy and -20.7% in the two weeks after the end of treatment. All responders also had an improvement in nighttime sleep and daytime behavior.

Keywords: Behavior; Children; Drug-refractory epilepsy; Mozart's music; Seizure recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Young Adult