Home » Music Medicine: Sound At A Cellular Level: Dr. Lee Bartel (Transcript)

Music Medicine: Sound At A Cellular Level: Dr. Lee Bartel (Transcript)

And so the question is: What is that about 40 hertz stimulation as vibrations sound that might make this happen? Why would this happen in the case of Alzheimer’s?

So one of the things we know about Alzheimer’s is that as a person develops this, there seem to be fewer neurons firing together at the 40 hertz level. So there’s less power in 40 hertz. That means the circuits are decaying.

We also know, of course, that sound stimulation increases 40 hertz firing and so we can increase their number of neurons firing at 40 hertz and hopefully restore those circuits. The cricket principle.

So let me tell you about a study we did next then, which is we took 18 patients. This was just a short little study to see whether we could have some effect. And we spread these across mild to severe. We used watching a DVD as a control, and the prescription was 30 minutes of sound stimulation in this chair at 40 hertz twice a week for only three weeks. So a total of three hours of stimulation.

And the results surprised us.

What we saw was not just an effect at every session, which is what we thought might happen. But this was accumulating session to sessions over three weeks across the sample. We had an increase of 13% in the test score.

We were getting results from patients such as people saying in the third week, oh I remember doing this before. And generally greater engagement with the world around them and in conversation.

So it’s a very strong evidence that stimulation might, in fact, improve. Notice the DVD had a negative effect. They just got bored and got worse watching the DVD.

So one of the questions that came out of that study is how long does this last? Like, can we have this effect for three weeks and then it goes away. What if a person continued this for a while?

So this… our first case after the 12 weeks, they were quite happy with the results and they wanted to continue it, although they were going south for the winter.

And so I suggested they use this device, a portable consumer based device that produces very good vibration at 40 hertz and has onboard sound that or music. In fact, the piece of music that you heard in the middle of the beer after the crickets. That has a lot of low frequency at 40 hertz in it. So you use it for 30 minutes. You’d have 10 minutes of 40 hertz sound stimulation. I suggested they use it every day.

I met the couple three years later and my first reaction was, I really can’t tell that this woman has Alzheimer’s. And so I asked whether they would come back into the hospital to be reassessed and we might be able to complete the case. And in fact, the case was published just this past July.

And so what we found when we reviewed the case file and the testing was that she had the exact same MMSE, the standardized Alzheimer’s score, three years later as she had had when she was first diagnosed.

And so it gives us great hope that potentially we can reduce the impact of the development of Alzheimer’s. We may be able to slow it down even, if we can’t cure it.

So we’re planning another study now in which we will do a much more intense look at the mechanism here with imaging of the brain. We will also look at amyloid beta, which is the plaques and tangles. Because a study at MIT almost a year ago showed that 40 hertz light flicker in the room; seven hours of just flickering, 40 hertz in the room, reduced amyloid beta by more than 50%.

And so we’re going to compare that with sound stimulation and probably we expect that sound stimulation would also reduce amyloid beta. And in that sense, to help to reverse the basis for Alzheimer’s.

Just for the record here, some publications.

Let me tell you next about a case that came to us for treatment with fibromyalgia. She’d been diagnosed with fibromyalgia about six years before with a severity scale of about 17 out of 20. She had many of the classic symptoms. She had pain all over her body. She used medication. She had real trouble sleeping. She was depressed. She had stiffness in her neck and shoulders. She couldn’t sit and stand for very, very long at any one time. She missed many days of work.

So we gave her a prescription of 23 minutes of 40 hertz sound stimulation, two times a week for five weeks. On this device, the Nexneuro Lounge that has two transducers in it.

What we found after five weeks was that she had stopped using all her medication. She’s reported that she could sleep much better. She was less depressed. The chiropractor checked her neck and shoulders and she had more mobility. She was missing fewer days of work.

And so the question is, why would 40 hertz sound stimulation have this result in fibromyalgia that many doctors just say, oh, it’s just all in your head. It’s often diagnosed as a psychological problem.

I believe it’s all in your head, or at least a good portion of it is in your head in terms of brain connectivity. Because research shows that fibromyalgia has connectivity issues between parts of the brain and then the pain circuits.

So the theory would be and our assumption was that 40 hertz sound stimulation would restore this connectivity. And she demonstrated that there were positive results.

So we then did a study with 19 patients completing an open label study. The prescription was the same as hers. Twenty three minutes, two times a week for five weeks. Publication.

And what we found is that before the treatment started, the patients tended to cluster toward the negative side of the scale, the far right. And at the end of the study, they clustered toward the positive side of the scale.

What we found was that a quarter had stopped all medication, all had reduced medication. We were getting a positive response on across the board.

So we then went on to do a much more rigorous double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Mount Sinai. Prescription here was: 40 hertz for 30 minutes a day, five times a week for five weeks. 38 patients completing. We use this same sound oasis device, but with an MP3 plugging in the treatment track.

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