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Health Team

Music Therapy Helps Stroke Patients Recover

Posted August 10, 2007 3:04 p.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2007 10:34 p.m. EDT

— Laughter might be the best medicine, but music has healing powers as well.

Trevor Gibbons suffered a stroke while working on a window. He fell four stories and landed flat on his back.

He spent almost a year in the hospital and could barely speak or move.

Gibbons ended up at Beth Abraham Rehabilitation Center in the Bronx, which has a 25-year-old music therapy program.

Stroke patients and those with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease can use a high-tech recording studio to make music – and treatment breakthroughs.

"They're able to retrieve words much easier than if they just did speech therapy by itself," said Dr. Corretta Tomaino, vice president of music therapy at Beth Abraham.

Gibbons was never expected to recover from his stroke and fall, but he has penned more than 400 songs, performed at Lincoln Center and cut two CDs.