Singing helps stroke victims to talk again

When I was fifteen I remember babysitting for a Neurosurgeon and his wife down the street from my house and how somehow it wound up that my boyfriend at the time became friends with this guy. He was the best man in our wedding. I have kept in contact with our friend even though my first husband and I are no longer married (Okay, enough of that).

My point is I remember one discussion my ex and my friend were having when they were discussing one of his patients who had suffered a stroke. He began talking of how this woman could not speak one word but what was amazing (and I still remember it today) is that she could sing. He went on to say that it was because our speech comes from one side of the brain and our ability to sing comes from a completely different part of the brain. (This of course is my explanation and not the technical version)

Here is the physicians explanation:

“Doctors have known for a century that stroke victims who can’t speak can sometimes sing clearly. This is because the part of the brain that deals with language is separate from the region that processes music.” Read more:

Aphasia is caused by damage to parts of the brain responsible for language. It affects the sufferer’s ability to understand language and can make communication difficult.

I find this truly fascinating and have always felt this. Maybe it’s because music has always been such an important part of my life and I understand it’s power and affect on the human soul, emotions and such.

It also explains why people like Mel Tillis stutters when he speaks but not when he sings. Or people from the south really have a southern accent except when they sing!

Taking this into account and how this crazy brain of ours works brings about many questions when it comes to treatment and the possibility of maybe changing our approach to Alzheimer’s, Autism and many other areas.

What are some of the techniques you or someone you know or something you’ve heard that has proven effective for these types of situations and challenges? I’d love to hear them.

Another great story on this subject:–sing.html

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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2 Responses to Singing helps stroke victims to talk again

  1. Del James says:

    interesting stroke info!


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