Numerous scientific works prove the therapeutic virtues of music in humans. But fewer people are interested in the effects of the fourth art on animals. Study reveals healing power of music on mice suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders.
Because, yes, these little rodents can be affected by a pathology comparable to human depression. The paths that lead a mouse and a human being to depression are different, but the ailments they suffer from are comparable. This is why a research team, affiliated with the Chinese University of Minzu, wanted to discover if these mammals are, like us, sensitive to the therapeutic effects of music.
To do this, the researchers conducted an experiment involving 36 male mice. The rodents were divided into several groups before being placed in various situations intended to induce a state of stress in them. Following this, the academics made them listen to music for an hour and a half. This experimental protocol was conducted for 28 days to determine whether or not listening to music had an impact on the well-being of small mammals.
It turns out that the mice, subjected to stress, which were made to listen to music showed fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than the others. These specimens had behavior similar to that of the rodents in the control group, that is to say those which had not been subjected to the slightest stress factor. “(Our study) seems to indicate that music can prevent mice from developing depressive-like behaviors and that listening to music can make them more active“, note the researchers.
Scientists have also found that music seems to have a protective effect against oxidative stress and inflammation, two factors involved in various pathologies including depression. “Listening to music prevented oxidative stress induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (SCLI) in the serum, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice. Furthermore, listening to music prevented SCLI-induced inflammatory responses in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice“, they explain in their research published in the journal Translational Therapy.
These findings provide new insights into the potential role of music in the treatment of anxiety and depression in humans, although this study has methodological limitations. They also provide a better understanding of these disorders which currently affect 4 to 5% of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization.