Research Article| Volume 78, P100-103, January 2018

Download started.


Mozart's music in children with drug-refractory epileptic encephalopathies: Comparison of two protocols

Published:November 25, 2017DOI:


      • music therapy may be an additional, non-pharmacological treatment for children with refractory epileptic seizures.
      • the Mozart set of different compositions can be better accepted and effective than the K448 only.
      • music therapy can also improve quality of life, including behavior disorders and night-time sleep instability.


      In this prospective, randomized, open label study, we compared the effect on seizure recurrence and quality-of-life parameters, of two different protocols of music therapy in children and adolescents with refractory epileptic encephalopathies. Nine out of 19 patients (13 males and 6 females, aged between 1 and 24 years) were randomized to listen to Mozart's sonata in D major for two pianos K448 for 2 h/day for 2 weeks; other 10 children were randomized on a set of Mozart's compositions.
      In group 1 (K448), 2/9 children (22.2%) had a ≥75% seizure decrease; two patients had less than 50% seizure reduction, and the other five were unchanged.
      In group 2 (set Mozart), 7/10 patients (70%) had a significant seizure reduction (specifically, ≥50% in 1/10; ≥75% in 4/10; 100% in 2/10).
      An overall more significant behavioral improvement including less irritability and tearfulness, reduced self-/heteroaggression, a better daytime vigilance, and nighttime sleep quality, was also reported in children from group 2.
      In conclusion, the present study seems to confirm that music therapy may be an additional, nonpharmacological, effective treatment for patients with refractory epileptic seizures in childhood. The Mozart's set of different compositions can be better accepted and effective than the K448.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Epilepsy & Behavior
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Turner R.P.
        The acute effect of music on interictal epileptiform discharges.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2004; 5: 662-668
        • Lin L.C.
        • Lee W.T.
        • HC Wu
        • Tsai C.L.
        • Wei R.C.
        • Jong Y.J.
        • et al.
        Mozart K.448 and epileptiform discharges: effect of ratio of lower to higher harmonics.
        Epilepsy Res. 2010; 89: 238-245
        • Lin L.C.
        • Lee W.T.
        • Wu H.C.
        • Tsai C.L.
        • Wei R.C.
        • Mok H.K.
        • et al.
        The long-term effect of listening to Mozart K.448 decreases epileptiform discharges in children with epilepsy.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2011; 21: 420-424
        • Hughes J.R.
        • Fino J.J.
        • Melyn M.A.
        Is there a chronic change of the “Mozart effect” on epileptiform activity? A case study.
        Clin Electroencephalogr. 1999; 30: 44-45
        • Lahiri N.
        • Duncan J.S.
        The Mozart effect: encore.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2007; 11: 152-153
        • Miranda M.
        • Kuester G.
        • Ríos L.
        • Basaez E.
        • Hazard S.
        Refractory nonconvulsive status epilepticus responsive to music as an add-on therapy: a second case.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2010; 19: 539-540
        • Lin L.C.
        • Lee W.T.
        • Wang C.H.
        • Chen H.L.
        • Wu H.C.
        • Tsai C.L.
        • et al.
        Mozart K.448 acts as a potential add-on therapy in children with refractory epilepsy.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2011; 20: 490-493
        • Bodner M.
        • Turner R.P.
        • Schwacke J.
        • Bowers C.
        • Norment C.
        Reduction of seizure occurrence from exposure to auditory stimulation in individuals with neurological handicaps: a randomized controlled trial.
        PLoS One. 2012; 7e45303
        • Coppola G.
        • Toro A.
        • Operto F.F.
        • Ferrarioli G.
        • Pisano S.
        • Viggiano A.
        • et al.
        Mozart's music in children with drug-refractory epileptic encephalopathies.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Sep; 50: 18-22
        • Thompson B.M.
        • Andrews S.R.
        An historical commentary on the physiological effects of music: Tomatis, Mozart and neuropsychology.
        Integr Physiol Behav Sci. 2000; 35: 174-188
        • Commission on Classification and Terminology of the International League Against Epilepsy
        Proposal for revised clinical and electroencephalographic classification of epileptic seizures.
        Epilepsia. 1981; 22: 489-501
        • Lin L.C.
        • Lee M.W.
        • Wei R.C.
        • Mok H.K.
        • Yang R.C.
        Mozart K.448 listening decreased seizure recurrence and epileptiform discharges in children with first unprovoked seizures: a randomized controlled study.
        BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 13: 14-17
        • Kuester G.
        • Rios L.
        • Ortiz A.
        • Miranda M.
        Effect of music on the recovery of a patient with refractory nonconvulsive status epilepticus.
        Epilepsy Behav. 2010; 18: 491-493