The “Mozart Effect” on epileptiform activity in the EEG of 29 patients, ages 3-47 years, was investigated using brain maps and computerized analyses at the University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, IL. The Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major (K.448) was selected as in previous cognitive and EEG studies, and the patients had frequent focal or generalized epileptiform discharges in waking or comatose states. Numbers or durations of discharges were counted for 10 min each, before, during Mozart music, after Mozart, during control Pop music, and after Pop music. Significant decreases in EEG ictal pattern duration were seen during Mozart music in 23 (79%) patients, whereas control music had no effect. The effect was immediate or required 40-300 sec to manifest. A carry-over inhibitory seizure effect also occurred, with fewer discharges counted after Mozart. Theta and alpha activity decreased in central areas, while delta waves increased in frontal midline areas. A direct resonance effect of Mozart music on the cerebral cortex rather than a change in alertness or emotion was suggested, since some patients were in coma or status epilepticus. [1]

COMMENT. Listening to Mozart, specifically the Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, can lessen epileptiform activity in the EEG of patients with epilepsy, including those with status epilepticus and coma. In those with focal discharges, the effect is not limited to one temporal area, both left or right sided discharges being suppressed. The beneficial effects of Mozart and piano playing noted in children with learning problems may be extended to those with epilepsy.