An integrative cognitive rehabilitation using neurologic music therapy in multiple sclerosis: A pilot study

Federica Impellizzeri, Simona Leonardi, Dèsiréè Latella, Maria Grazia Maggio, Marilena Foti Cuzzola, Margherita Russo, Edoardo Sessa, Placido Bramanti, Rosaria De Luca, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background:Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease, affecting both the sensorimotor and cognitive systems. The typical pattern of cognitive impairment includes reduced speed of information processing, decreased phonological and semantic speech fluency, deficits in verbal and visual episodic memory, as well as attention and executive dysfunctions. We aimed to investigate the influence of the neurologic music therapy (NMT) on mood, motivation, emotion status, and cognitive functions in patients with MS.Methods:Thirty patients with MS were randomly divided in 2 groups: the control group (CG) undergoing conventional cognitive rehabilitation (CCR), 6 times a week for 8 weeks, and the experimental group (EG) undergoing CCR 3 times a week for 8 weeks plus NMT techniques, performed 3 times a week for 8 weeks. All the participants were submitted to the same amount of treatment. Each patient was evaluated before (baseline: T0) and immediately after the end of each training (T1).Main outcomes measures:We used as main outcome measure: the brief repeatable battery of neuropsychological test to assess various cognitive abilities; and the multiple sclerosis quality of life-54 (MSQoL-54).Results:Both the groups benefit from 8 weeks of CR. In particular, the EG got better results in cognitive function, with regard to selective reminding test long term storage (P < .000), long term retrieval (P = .007), and delayed recall of the 10/36 spatial recall test (P = .001), as compared with the CG. Moreover, the improvement in emotional status, motivation, mood and quality of life (with regard to the mental component; P < .000) was more evident in the EG.Conclusions:NMT could be considered a complementary approach to enhance CCR in patients affected by MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18866
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine (Baltimore)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 24 2020


  • cognitive and behavioral deficits
  • cognitive rehabilitation
  • multiple sclerosis
  • music
  • neurologic music therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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