-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
MONDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who listen to Mozart
while performing colonoscopies may spot more precancerous growths,
Better detection of these so-called adenomatous polyps could
save lives, the study authors noted, as survival rates for
colorectal cancer are better than 90 percent if the disease is
Previous research has shown that Mozart's music can provide a
significant short-term boost to spatial-temporal reasoning, which
involves a person's ability to compare and transform mental images
in space and time. Researchers set out to determine if this
phenomenon, called the "Mozart Effect," played a role in the
detection rates of precancerous polyps during colonoscopies.
In their small study, two doctors performed endoscopies either
while listening to Mozart or with no music at all. Both doctors
improved their detection rates of potentially dangerous adenomatous
polyps when they listened to music compared with their pre-study
("baseline") rates, the investigators found. But while both doctors
had better results compared to their baseline rates, one doctor did
slightly better in procedures without music than with music during
Detection rates for the first doctor were about 67 percent while
listening to music and 30 percent with no music. This was up from a
baseline detection rate of 21 percent before the study began.
However, the second doctor had an adenoma detection rate of
nearly 37 percent with Mozart and 40 percent without the music,
compared with a baseline detection rate of 27 percent.
"Both endoscopists had higher adenoma detection rates listening to music when compared with their baseline rates," lead researcher Dr. Catherine Noelle O'Shea, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said in an American College of Gastroenterology news release.
The study authors suggested that the findings could help reduce
the number of people affected by invasive colorectal cancer -- the
third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United
States, according to background information in the news release.
When spotted early, potentially dangerous polyps can be removed
during colonoscopies, preventing the development of disease.
"Adenoma detection rate is linked to a reduction in colorectal cancer incidence, so it is an important quality indicator for colonoscopy," said O'Shea. "Anything we can do to get those rates up has the potential to save lives. While this is a small study, the results highlight how thinking outside the box -- in this case using Mozart -- to improve adenoma detection rates can potentially prove valuable to physicians and patients."
The study was slated for presentation Monday at the American
College of Gastroenterology's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and
conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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