Combine music and painkillers?
Researchers have now discovered that music can relieve pain and inflammation and significantly improve the effects of painkillers such as ibuprofen and CBD.
A recent study by the University of Utah found that music helps relieve pain and, in addition, enhances the effects of certain painkillers. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Frontiers in Neurology".
Combined effect of drugs and music studied
In recent years, the researchers played in their work mice in the laboratory music by Mozart. So they wanted to find out more about the treatment of epilepsy and chronic pain. Although pain and epilepsy present different symptoms, they raise similar problems. There are limited treatment options and available drugs are often ineffective enough. In developing new drugs for pain and epilepsy, the researchers looked at how drugs and music work together.
Music by Mozart weakens epilepsy
Various studies have already shown that music by Mozart mitigates the negative effects of epilepsy. In the current study, not only the effects of music on the disorder itself, but also on chronic pain symptoms from mice and rats were investigated. The animals were played the same Mozart compositions that had previously been used in the attempts to alleviate epilepsy.
Pain relief has been improved by more than 90 percent
The mice were exposed to the music just three weeks before their participation in the treatment. The one group heard music, the control group experienced only normal ambient noise. The mice were all given one of four analgesics, including ibuprofen, levetiracetam, cannabidiol (CBD) and the galanin analogue NAX 5055. The mice were then given specific injuries to simulate postoperative pain and, in some cases, a virus was induced led to the animals having seizures that mimicked epilepsy. The pain relief from ibuprofen and music improved the results by more than 90 percent. The other models showed that the inflammation was reduced by 70 percent.
Music alone had only a small effect
The results showed that music therapy had little effect per se. However, in combination with various medications, the positive effects on the treatment of pain and inflammation are very clear. In addition, apparently, not much analgesic was needed in the mouse system to achieve the positive results. A single dose of ibuprofen was chosen, which has only a relatively small effect. Nevertheless, a strong improvement could be observed in animals that had previously come into contact with music.
Further research on humans is necessary
The results showed not only a significant decrease in seizures in the epileptic animals, but also a reduced number of deaths associated with the disease. The epilepsy model found an effect on the frequency of seizures, but most notably, a decreased mortality rate was actually observed, the researchers say. The model used for epilepsy seizures usually showed a mortality rate of up to 50 percent, but the combined treatment significantly reduced it. Further research is now to find out whether a combination of music and pain medication actually reduces the mortality rate in epilepsy and, in addition, that the number of seizures can be better controlled. This could help prevent a sudden and unexpected death from epilepsy. There are already plans to continue studies in a human clinical setting. Above all, the researchers want to try to understand which components of music cause this type of pain-relieving and drug-enhancing effects. (As)