Patients who lose the ability to speak after suffering a stroke may be able to regain their speech through song therapy. Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) can help stroke patients who may have suffered damage to the brain’s left hemisphere, responsible for speech processing, if the right hemisphere, associated with musical ability, is undamaged. Antop Hill resident Mohan Shamim, 61, suffered a stroke 15 years ago that affected a part of his brain’s left hemisphere, leaving him unable to speak. But now, Shamim is learning to speak again through MIT.
Shamim’s banker wife Pushpanjali consulted various doctors and speech therapist, but nothing helped until two months ago, when the couple met senior neurologist Dr Shirish Hastak, group director, Neurology and Stroke Services, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central. Hastak spoke to them at length and realised that not only did Shamim retain the ability to sing, he did not slur his words while singing. The doctor, who was already treating two other stroke patients through MIT, ran a few tests and concluded that Shamim was a good candidate for the treatment.
For Shamim, who used to work with Doordarshan as a programme coordinator on 400- plus episodes of the hit show ‘Geet Gaata Chal’, life changed completely after the stroke, Pushpanjali said. “He was full of life and he used to talk so much, I used to request my husband to shut his mouth for 10 minutes. But after the stroke, things completely changed and he struggled to speak. He wants to express so many things to me but he is unable to,” she said.
Shamim is now trying to speak and communicate with his wife through song. “He laughs when I ask him to ‘speak’ through singing,” she said.
A big congratulations to Dr Shirish Hastak, Group Director, Neurology and Stroke Services, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central and other team members.
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