A qualitative motion analysis study of voluntary hand movement induced by music in patients with Rett syndrome
Tohshin Go1, Asako Mitani2
1Center for Baby Science, Doshisha University, Kizugawa, Kyoto, Japan; 2Independent Music Therapist (Poco A Poco Music Room), Tokyo, Japan
Abstract: Patients with Rett syndrome are known to respond well to music irrespective of their physical and verbal disabilities. Therefore, the relationship between auditory rhythm and their behavior was investigated employing a two-dimensional motion analysis system. Ten female patients aged from three to 17 years were included. When music with a simple regular rhythm started, body rocking appeared automatically in a back and forth direction in all four patients who showed the same rocking motion as their stereotyped movement. Through this body rocking, voluntary movement of the hand increased gradually, and finally became sufficient to beat a tambourine. However, the induction of body rocking by music was not observed in the other six patients who did not show stereotyped body rocking in a back and forth direction. When the music stopped suddenly, voluntary movement of the hand disappeared. When the music changed from a simple regular rhythm to a continuous tone without an auditory rhythm, the periodic movement of both the hand and body prolonged. Auditory rhythm shows a close relationship with body movement and facilitates synchronized body movement. This mechanism was demonstrated to be preserved in some patients with Rett syndrome, and stimulation with music could be utilized for their rehabilitation.
Keywords: Rett syndrome, music, auditory rhythm, stereotyped movement, body rocking, voluntary movement
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