Music combined with Auditory Beat Stimulation can reduce Anxiety; Study

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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According to a new study by Dr. Adiel Mallik and Mr. Frank Russo of the Ryerson University, therapies that combine music and auditory beat stimulation (ABS) are effective in reducing anxiety in some patients.

The new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE suggests that music playlists curated by Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with “auditory beat stimulation,” may help ease symptoms of moderate behavioral anxiety. It also suggests that having a personalized music playlist alone can significantly reduce symptoms in high-anxiety participants.

Anxiety among people is steadily increasing, especially among young people. Previous studies have shown that music reduces anxiety to some extent. They are more effective than antidepressants and medications and are less expensive.

The researchers hope their findings will provide simple and cost-effective anxiety treatments for some people.

The authors describe ABS as a “noninvasive neuro-modulatory technique, which uses sound waves to produce combination tones, binaural beats, or monaural beats, to produce a neural frequency following response.”

In this study, researchers took random samples of 163 patients taking anti-anxiety medications to participate in a home treatment session that included music, auditory beat stimulation.

The music was selected for each patient using LUCID’s artificial intelligence, which cures music based on the patient’s emotional state and musical preferences. Auditory beat stimulation involves a combination of tones played in one or both ears designed to alter brain function. In all groups, patients were asked to download a customized application on their smartphone for treatment, close their eyes and listen to the 24-minute session.

Major reductions in somatic anxiety were found among people with moderate anxiety before the treatment session. The physical symptoms of anxiety saw a change in people listening to music and ABS.

Dr. Russo and Dr. Malik stated that “With the pandemic and remote work, there has been a remarkable uptick in the use of digital health tools to support mental health. The results of this clinical trial indicate great promise for the use of digital health tools, such as LUCID’s digital music therapy, in the management of anxiety and other mental health conditions.”

“The findings from this research are exciting as they indicate that personalized music shows great promise in effectively reducing anxiety in specific segments of the population that suffer from anxiety,” Researchers added.

The authors conclude that voice-based therapies may be effective in reducing state anxiety and may offer a simple and easily distributed method of treating anxiety in a segment of the population.

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