Clinically, we know that some aphasic patients can sing well despite their speech disturbances. Herein, we report 10 patients with non-fluent aphasia, of which half of the patients improved their speech function after singing training. We studied ten patients with non-fluent aphasia complaining of difficulty finding words. All had lesions in the left basal ganglia or temporal lobe. They selected the melodies they knew well, but which they could not sing. We made a new lyric with a familiar melody using words they could not name. The singing training using these new lyrics was performed for 30 minutes once a week for 10 weeks. Before and after the training, their speech functions were assessed by language tests. At baseline, 6 of them received positron emission tomography to evaluate glucose metabolism. Five patients exhibited improvements after intervention; all but one exhibited intact right basal ganglia and left temporal lobes, but all exhibited left basal ganglia lesions. Among them, three subjects exhibited preserved glucose metabolism in the right temporal lobe. We considered that patients who exhibit intact right basal ganglia and left temporal lobes, together with preserved right hemispheric glucose metabolism, might be an indication of the effectiveness of singing therapy.
- music therapy
- singing therapy