Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 0004-282X
SANCHEZ, T G et al. Musical hallucination associated with hearing loss. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.69, n.2b, pp. 395-400. ISSN 0004-282X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2011000300024.
In spite of the fact that musical hallucination have a significant impact on patients' lives, they have received very little attention of experts. Some researchers agree on a combination of peripheral and central dysfunctions as the mechanism that causes hallucination. The most accepted physiopathology of musical hallucination associated to hearing loss (caused by cochlear lesion, cochlear nerve lesion or by interruption of mesencephalon or pontine auditory information) is the disinhibition of auditory memory circuits due to sensory deprivation. Concerning the cortical area involved in musical hallucination, there is evidence that the excitatory mechanism of the superior temporal gyrus, as in epilepsies, is responsible for musical hallucination. In musical release hallucination there is also activation of the auditory association cortex. Finally, considering the laterality, functional studies with musical perception and imagery in normal individuals showed that songs with words cause bilateral temporal activation and melodies activate only the right lobe. The effect of hearing aids on the improvement of musical hallucination as a result of the hearing loss improvement is well documented. It happens because auditory hallucination may be influenced by the external acoustical environment. Neuroleptics, antidepressants and anticonvulsants have been used in the treatment of musical hallucination. Cases of improvement with the administration of carbamazepine, meclobemide and donepezil were reported, but the results obtained were not consistent.
Keywords : musical hallucination; auditory hallucination; hearning loss; deafness.