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Creative music therapy to promote brain function and brain structure in preterm infants: A randomized controlled pilot study


Haslbeck, Friederike Barbara; Jakab, Andras; Held, Ulrike; Bassler, Dirk; Bucher, Hans-Ulrich; Hagmann, Cornelia (2020). Creative music therapy to promote brain function and brain structure in preterm infants: A randomized controlled pilot study. NeuroImage: Clinical, 25:102171.

Abstract

Cognitive and neurobehavioral problems are among the most severe adverse outcomes in very preterm infants. Such neurodevelopmental impairments may be mitigated through nonpharmacological interventions such as creative music therapy (CMT), an interactive, resource- and needs-oriented approach that provides individual social contact and musical stimulation. The aim was to test the feasibility of a study investigating the role of CMT and to measure the short- and medium-term effects of CMT on structural and functional brain connectivity with MRI. In this randomized, controlled clinical pilot feasibility trial, 82 infants were randomized to either CMT or standard care. A specially trained music therapist provided CMT via infant-directed humming and singing in lullaby style. To test the short-term effects of CMT on brain structure and function, diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional imaging data were acquired. Clinical feasibility was achieved despite moderate parental refusal mainly in the control group after randomization. 40 infants remained as final cohort for the MRI analysis. Structural brain connectivity appears to be moderately affected by CMT, structural connectomic analysis revealed increased integration in the posterior cingulate cortex only. Lagged resting-state MRI analysis showed lower thalamocortical processing delay, stronger functional networks, and higher functional integration in predominantly left prefrontal, supplementary motor, and inferior temporal brain regions in infants treated with CMT. This trial provides unique evidence that CMT has beneficial effects on functional brain activity and connectivity in networks underlying higher-order cognitive, socio-emotional, and motor functions in preterm infants. Our results indicate the potential of CMT to improve long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes in children born very preterm.

Abstract

Cognitive and neurobehavioral problems are among the most severe adverse outcomes in very preterm infants. Such neurodevelopmental impairments may be mitigated through nonpharmacological interventions such as creative music therapy (CMT), an interactive, resource- and needs-oriented approach that provides individual social contact and musical stimulation. The aim was to test the feasibility of a study investigating the role of CMT and to measure the short- and medium-term effects of CMT on structural and functional brain connectivity with MRI. In this randomized, controlled clinical pilot feasibility trial, 82 infants were randomized to either CMT or standard care. A specially trained music therapist provided CMT via infant-directed humming and singing in lullaby style. To test the short-term effects of CMT on brain structure and function, diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional imaging data were acquired. Clinical feasibility was achieved despite moderate parental refusal mainly in the control group after randomization. 40 infants remained as final cohort for the MRI analysis. Structural brain connectivity appears to be moderately affected by CMT, structural connectomic analysis revealed increased integration in the posterior cingulate cortex only. Lagged resting-state MRI analysis showed lower thalamocortical processing delay, stronger functional networks, and higher functional integration in predominantly left prefrontal, supplementary motor, and inferior temporal brain regions in infants treated with CMT. This trial provides unique evidence that CMT has beneficial effects on functional brain activity and connectivity in networks underlying higher-order cognitive, socio-emotional, and motor functions in preterm infants. Our results indicate the potential of CMT to improve long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes in children born very preterm.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive Neuroscience, Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging, Neurology, Clinical Neurology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:20 Feb 2020 11:36
Last Modified:22 Apr 2020 22:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2213-1582
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102171
PubMed ID:31972397
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID211928
  • : Project TitleERA-INSTRUMENTS - Infrastructure Funding in the Life Sciences

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