ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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