ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
CANCER
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
CAREGIVING
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Add your Article

Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby

(HealthDay News) -- Could the music of the 18th century classical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart help tiny infants born today?

Yes, suggests an Israeli study that found that listening for just 30 minutes a day helped premature babies use less energy, which may help them grow faster.

"Within 10 minutes of listening to Mozart music, healthy infants [born prematurely] had a 10 percent to 13 percent reduction of their resting energy expenditure," the study authors wrote. "We speculate that this effect of music on resting energy expenditure might explain, in part, the improved weight gain that results from this Mozart effect."

The findings were published online Monday in Pediatrics, and are slated to appear in the January print issue of the journal.

In the 1990s, researchers released a small study that found that when adults listened to a Mozart sonata they performed better on intelligence tests. Numerous studies have been done since, including studies on premature infants that have found the "Mozart effect" can decrease the heart rate, lower stress hormone levels and ease distressed behavior in premature infants, according to background information in the new study. Babies exposed to music have also shown an increase in their levels of oxygen and weight gain.

However, none of these studies have been able to look at how the music might be causing these changes.

To get an idea of how Mozart's music might help weight gain, the researchers designed a prospective, randomized trial that included 20 healthy babies who were born prematurely. The babies weren't eating on their own, but instead were being tube-fed consistent quantities of food.

The babies were randomly assigned to listen to no music or to Mozart for 30 minutes for two consecutive days.

During the first 10 minutes, the resting energy expenditure was similar in both groups. But during the next 10 minutes, the researchers noted a change in the babies who were exposed to Mozart -- their resting energy expenditure decreased, and the effect continued through the next 10-minute period as well. Overall, there was a 10 percent to 13 percent drop in resting energy expenditure.

"When you're born early, lots of the pathways in the brain are still being laid down and developing, and then babies are put in an environment where there are lots of unfamiliar sounds and other stimuli, which may cause sensory overload. Music may help decrease those noxious influences," said Dr. Cheryl Cipriani, director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, in Temple, Texas. "It's an area that needs further explanation."

Dr. Beverly Brozanski, clinical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said that "developmental inputs, whether music or touch or something else, are very important to infant brain development."

Both experts said that while this study's results are intriguing, it's only a small pilot study, and that no definitive conclusions can be drawn from it.

Whether the effect seen in this study is exclusive to Mozart or could be replicated with other music is also unknown. The researchers suggest that the effect may be unique to Mozart because his music tends to repeat the melody more than music of other composers.

Brozanski said that she suspects that lullaby-type music that contains a soothing repetition would probably produce similar effects.

Cipriani said she doesn't know if playing different music would change the outcome, but like Brozanski, she suspects the repetition probably is key. "The baby is used to hearing a beat before it's born -- the whoosh of the blood, the heartbeat -- and it may be that certain types of music do a better job of soothing them and reminding them of the womb," she said.

SOURCES: Cheryl Cipriani, M.D., director, neonatal intensive care unit, Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas; Beverly Brozanski, M.D., clinical director, neonatal intensive care unit, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Dec. 7, 2009, Pediatrics, online Published on: December 08, 2009