Effects of music and music therapy on mood in neurological patients

Many people with neurological disorders, like stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, also experience mood disorders and depression. However, these conditions are often not diagnosed or treated adequately, impacting the patients’ recovery, treatment adherence, quality of life, and even mortality risk. There may also be a connection between depression and the development of neurological disorders.

Despite the known benefits of music therapy (MT) on various aspects of neurological disorders, there’s a lack of updated information on how music interventions affect mood, emotions, and depression in these patients. This article aimed to review existing studies on musical interventions and their impact on mood and depression in neurological patients.

The study selected 25 relevant studies from PubMed and PsycInfo databases. Among them, 11 focused on dementia, 9 on stroke, and 5 on other neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, chronic quadriplegia, Parkinson’s disease, and acquired brain dysfunctions. Most of these studies supported the effectiveness of music therapy and other musical interventions in improving mood, depressive syndromes, and overall quality of life in neurological patients.

In summary, the research suggests that music therapy and related interventions can be beneficial, affordable, and non-invasive for neurological patients, with positive effects on mood, depression, quality of life, functional recovery, and neuromotor performances. Although the methodological quality of the studies was generally rated as poor, the evidence supports the potential effectiveness of these musical approaches in improving the well-being of neurological patients.

For more information on music therapy, visit our website at www.centralohiomusictherapy.com or the American Music Therapy Association’s website at www.musictherapy.org.


Raglio, A., Attardo, L., Gontero, G., Rollino, S., Groppo, E., & Granieri, E. (2015). Effects of music and music therapy on mood in neurological patients. World Journal of Psychiatry, 5(1), 68-78. https://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v5.i1.68

Kayla Williams, MT-BC

Central Ohio Music Therapy, LLC