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Thursday, March 6, 2008

How does music improve mood state?

Music exposure increases Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the hypothalamus. This factor protects neurons from the damaging effects of stress and it decreases the overactive stress system in stress related disorders such as major depression. The antidepressive effect of music could be mediated by an increase in hypotahlamic levels of BDNF.

Music is also associated with decreased Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the hypothalamus. NGF is increased in stressful conditions such as depression and it activates the stress system. A reduction of NGF may contribute to a decrease of the stress system and enhance the anti-stress effect of music.

These effects were shown in a study with 20 mice. They exposed 10 mice to new age type music. Daily 6 hours during wake for 21 consecutive days. 10 other mice were treated the same way as the experimental mice besides the exposure to music. After this period the researchers studied the hypothalamus of all mice. They found an increased level of BDNF in the mice exposed to music and a decreased NGF level in this same brain region.

The effect of other types of auditory stimuli (other music such as funk, hip hop or noise) was not investigated. Different types of music or noise might produce different effects.

What kind of music do you look and lifts your mood? Let me know in the comments
ANGELUCCI, F., RICCI, E., PADUA, L., SABINO, A., TONALI, P. (2007). Music exposure differentially alters the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor in the mouse hypothalamus. Neuroscience Letters DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.10.005

Effects of stress and BDNF's link in depression.

Exposure to stress and the stress hormone corticosterone has been shown to decrease the expression of BDNF in rats, and leads to an eventual atrophy of the hippocampus if exposure is persistent. Similar atrophy has been shown to take place in humans suffering from chronic depression.

Music used: The Romantic Sea of Tranquility, by Enya; The Heart of Reiki, by Merlin's Magic; Zen Garden, by Kokin Gumy; Feng Sui, by various artists.


Anonymous said...

Cats likes Mozart (pianoconcerts) and also Satie. It's a protection move for the furniture.
I love Satie while i'am driving en writing. It ends my busy head.

Dr. Shock said...

That's why cats are smatter than mice;)
Personally I am a omnivore with music, even HipHop without to much m%^&Rf&*%^$kers. According to my son I am a british hip hop fan.
Regards Dr Shock

Anonymous said...

I read the interview in Medisch Contact! Compliments for you! There is also a blog about 'dr Shock' on medblog.

Kind regards from a dutch nurse.
P.S. Hip Hop? I prefer Madonna, her recent music, also a lounge cd she made.

Aqua said...

I like the term "omnivore" for musical tastes. I'm like that too. Music can both bring me up or bring me down, both depending on my mood state and/or the kind of music I'm listening to.

If I'm really down sometimes really loud grunge rock picks me up, but only if it's the rocking kind, if its the desperately sad songs, of course they add to my load.

I love piano music almost always and get lost listening to piano recitals. I almost always listen to classical music if I am painting or drawing. I find modern music and music with words too distracting when I'm trying to be creative.