Does listening to classical music help in epilepsy?
For individuals with epilepsy, listening to classical music, specifically Mozart’s sonata, does not appear to provide any form of relief, according to the results of a meta-analysis.
Researchers searched multiple online databases for studies in which the beneficial impact of listening to the sonata KV448 on epilepsy had been examined. Of the 26 studies identified, eight met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis.
The included studies comprised a total of 207 participants. In these studies, the Mozart effect was assessed in relation to either epilepsy (six studies), stroke (one study), or other-reported premature infant pain (one study).
Outcomes examined for epilepsy included seizure frequency, interictal epileptic discharges via an electroencephalogram, or used other methods to measure changes in the respective symptomatology.
Three independent meta-analyses were carried out. All three showed that listening to Mozart KV448 or other musical stimuli had little-to-no effect on epilepsy or other medical conditions (g range: 0.09–0.43). Bias and sensitivity analyses suggested that the effects were inflated and nontrivial, driven by isolated leverage points. Multiverse analyses confirmed these findings, with inconsistent patterns.
Finally, the primary study power was low, and the evidence lacked value.
The present data suggest that unfounded authority, underpowered studies, and nontransparent reporting appear to have driven the Mozart effect myth.