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30 March 2007

Do children with tuberous sclerosis complex have superior musical skill? - A unique tendency of musical responsiveness in children with TSC

Kumi Matsuyama, Isao Ohsawa, Toyoaki Ogawa

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(4): CR156-164 :: ID: 481096


Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disorder that manifests with symptoms that might include mental retardation, epilepsy, skin lesions, and hamartomas in the heart, brain, and kidneys. Anecdotal reports have characterized children with TSC as having high music responsiveness despite their developmental delay. This study is intended to investigate this putative musical skill of children with TSC and to elucidate the presence of non-delayed facets of their development. Material/Methods: This study examined 11 children with TSC: 10 children with DSM-IV autism and 92 healthy children who participated as control subjects. Correlation was examined between results obtained using Non-Verbal MMRC, which is a validated musical responsiveness battery, and results of a scientifically accepted standardized pediatric developmental test: the New Edition of the Kyoto Scale of Psychological Development. Inter-rater reliability among the three raters was also assessed. Results: The rhythm or melody score on the Non-Verbal MMRC and DA among children with TSC showed no significant correlation. In contrast, a significant correlation was found among normal children and those with autism. Moreover, the inter-rater reliability was good. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that children with TSC show high responsiveness to musical stimuli despite otherwise delayed development (e.g., language, cognition, motor skills). This report is the first stating that children with TSC have a unique tendency in terms of correlation between music and developmental age. These findings indicate a non-delayed area of TSC children's development and suggest the use of music as therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: Aptitude - physiology, Analysis of Variance, Autistic Disorder - pathology, Child, Preschool, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Music, Psychological Tests, Tuberous Sclerosis - pathology

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750