Dementia with Lewy Bodies has many challenges. One is pain. A lot of this can come from the Parkinsonism aspects, with rigidity and stiffness, the “Lewy Lean” and involuntary movements. There’s also the pain from injuries that may be sustained from a fall caused by the postural instability many experience with the condition.

Medications for pain from Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) often cause problems. Side effects can range from constipation from over-the-counter, mild pain killers to much more significant issues including dizziness, sedation, psychoses and addiction from stronger drugs. Any ways to reduce our reliance on medications or improve their effectiveness is welcome.

A new study from the University of Utah on mice researched the effects of hearing the music of Mozart on two pain models: one simulating pain from surgery, and the other inflammation pain.

In both cases, music appears to have reduced pain, even used without other medications. It also improved the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) and drastically boosted the effects of Ibuprofen (Advil), a common pain medication.

Pain reduced by Mozart’s music

Photo of a musical score for an orchestra by MozartA Salt Lake Tribune article said researchers found that “in the surgical pain model, the study found music alone reduced pain 77 percent, compared to no music. Ibuprofen and music reduced pain responses in the inflammation pain model by 93 percent, compared to ibuprofen without music. With CBD, the difference in swelling was 21 percent with music compared to without music.

Music has been known to be calming, and remarkably effective with various aspects of cognition and mood for those with dementia. If similar results are replicated in humans, it’ll be a wonderful option which could potentially improve mood as well as reduce pain, with less, or no, medication.

It’s well worth trying to incorporate music into every day, for everyone, for so many reasons.

Strength to all! Timothy Hudson

Music gives pain relief and improves pain medication effectiveness

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