Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Topic Discussion: Music therapy and kidney transplants

Is there any role for music therapy in transplantation? Does a specific type of music or any calming music boost the success of a transplant?

Interactions between the immune response and brain functions such as olfactory, auditory, and visual sensations are likely. A recent study investigated the effect of sounds on alloimmune responses in a murine model of cardiac allograft transplantation. In that study, exposure to opera music, such as La traviata, could affect such aspects of the peripheral immune response as generation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ cells and up-regulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in prolonged allograft survival. That is an interesting observation. It is plausible that the environmental or epigenetic changes are playing a role here and leading to a less stressed environment and more regulatory cells and hence better graft survival. A lot of "ifs" and potential relationships. Probably an area worth studying in organ transplantation. 

Not to long ago, a study from the Kansas looked at some aspect of this. The investigators evaluated the impact of music therapy with and without a specific emphasis on emotional-approach coping. This randomized, controlled trial aimed to use Active Music Engagement with Emotional-Approach Coping to improve well-being in post-operative liver and kidney transplant recipients (N = 29). Results indicated that music therapy led to significant increases in positive affect, music therapy using led to significant decreases in pain, and both conditions led to significant decreases in negative affect, an indicator of perceived stress/anxiety. Another study that had evaluated this in MinnesotaResults indicated there were significant improvements in self-reported levels of relaxation, anxiety , pain, and nausea. Although there was no reliability measure, there were significant increases in positive verbalizations and positive affect in liver and kidney transplant recipients. It appears that in both the above transplant related studies, music was a good way to relieve nausea.  It appears that music as an anti emetic therapy is an old concept. Does classical music have the same effect as opera versus rap versus techno versus listening in your own language is another question?

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