Listening to Mozart may actually prevent seizures, new study claims

New Music Friday
Elena Elisseeva
For years, scientists have claimed that listening to Mozart could make you (and your child) smarter, but now, there’s a new, perhaps more intriguing series of findings touting the benefits of the classical genius. According to researchers from Ohio State University, people with epilepsy have different neural reactions to certain types of music (namely that of Mozart and John Coltrane), than those without epilepsy. In fact, study results suggest the synchronous reactions these patients have to the music may actually “prevent the debilitating seizures that came with epilepsy,” revealing an entirely new series of potential treatments for the disorder.

In explaining their results, lead author Dr. Christine Charyton told the BBC, “80 percent of people that have epilepsy have temporal lobe epilepsy, which means that the seizures begin in the temporal lobe.” And as it so happens, she added, “The auditory cortex, where people perceive music and hear sound is in the temporal lobe also.”

Charyton and her team found that epilepsy patients exhibited “significantly higher levels of brainwave activity … when they were listening to music.” And more importantly, “brainwave activity in people with epilepsy tended to synchronize more with the music,” which could help to prevent a seizure from happening in the first place or assist during the course of an ongoing seizure.

While the OSU team didn’t have a particularly large population size to work with (only 21 patients between September 2012 and May 2014 were actually monitored in regard to this particular study), the results are still promising. Said Charyton, “We think that the music may be highly effective. In our study, nobody had a seizure when listening to the music or during the entire study.”

At the very least, there seems to be some consensus that the application of music could prove an interesting avenue to pursue when it comes to seizure treatment. Professor Mark Cook, the president of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria, Australia, told ABC News, “A lot of the evidence they’ve collected so far is really around the possibility that it might change seizure activity just because it changes the way brainwaves function, and that’s certainly a good reason to start looking further.”

While this certainly isn’t the first time that the effects of music on the brain have been explored for medical purposes, this additional evidence certainly helps propel the notion that music serves much more than just an aesthetic purpose. And as Professor Cook noted, “… any therapy that doesn’t involve drugs or surgery, something that’s simple and safe like music, is a good thing for patients.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Smart Home

The Google Home Hub doesn’t have a camera. Here’s why that’s a good thing

Bucking the smart display trend, Google's new $149 Home Hub smart display surprisingly doesn't have a camera. We think a camera-less Google smart speaker with a screen is a good thing, and here's why.
Product Review

Apple's best product isn't the iPhone, it's the Apple Watch

Apple already ruled the smartwatch market with the Apple Watch Series 3, but the Series 4 elevates it to new levels with more screen, a sleeker design, and even an world-first electrocardiogram app that lets you keep tabs on your ticker.
Outdoors

The best snowshoes you can buy right now (updated for 2018)

Snowshoeing is a great way to stay fit and active during the winter months, but finding the right pair can be a challenge. Here are our picks of the five best snowshoes available today to keep you moving on the trail this winter.
Product Review

Garmin's Fenix 5X Plus is built for fitness freaks who fawn over every feature

With onboard music, full-color topographic maps, and new sport metrics, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus sets a high bar for GPS smartwatches. Find out how it can help boost your performance in our Fenix 5X Plus review.
Emerging Tech

Bose’s latest hearing aid has its own app

The FDA has granted Bose approval to bring a more intuitive hearing aid to market. The app-controlled device is the first of its kind to be granted FDA approval since Congress passed a law allowing the sale of OTC hearing aids.
Wearables

The Fitbit Charge 3 is now available for purchase worldwide

Back in August, Fitbit confirmed its new wearable -- the Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Outdoors

These zip-on bike tires change up your tread to match the terrain

Retyre gives cyclists the ability to change the tread on their bike tires simply by zipping on an overlay designed to provide better grip on trails or in the snow, without replacing the existing tires.
Product Review

Withings Steel HR Sport is a fitness tracker you’ll love wearing

Withings jumps back in the wearables game with the new Steel HR Sport, a hybrid smartwatch that is as much a fitness tracker as it is a timepiece. It's so good that it hasn't left our wrist since we pulled it out of the package.
Emerging Tech

Forget laxatives — this electronic pill will literally shake the crap out of you

Are you suffering from constipation? What you really need is a vibrating smart pill that promises to shake the crap out of you. And we mean that completely literally. Here's how it works.
Deals

The best sound machines to help you fall (and stay) asleep

Whether you find that sleep better with white noise, rain sounds, or deep sleep music, there’s a sound machine on the market that will be able to help you catch more z’s in no time at all.
Wearables

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.