Listening to music can be soothing, but when a tune gets "stuck" in one's mind, it can lead to Melodosis, a microdisorder similar to "earworms" ("ohrwurms" in Germany). The cause of Melodosis is unknown but is theorized to involve the auditory cortex, wherein repeated songs become musical memories. Unlike many repeated mental activities, songs repeated in this way become entrenched rather than habituated.
Melodosis appears to strike more women than men and is found mostly in middle-aged patients.
Some patients with severe Melodosis have been shown to respond to moderate doses of cinnamon extract. Others have reported that listening to Louie Louie by The Kingsmen, a song containing few comprehensible lyrics, can "unstick" a repeating melody. The treatment that has proven to be the most effective, however, is the presentation, in its entirety, of William Shatner singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. (WARNING: When applying this treatment, caution is recommended due to the serious micropsychological side-effect of Excessive Repulsive Disorder.)
Moreover, participation in high-attention, physical activities such as racquetball, bowling, table tennis and pole vaulting seem to attenuate the symptoms of Melodosis. On the other hand, participation in low-attention, physical activities such as weight-lifting, running, tennis and golf has no significant effect on reducing Melodosis.
Click here to review a case study of Melodosis.
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