Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) are partnering with singer and actor Ben Platt, and dancer, choreographer and actor Courtney Platt, to launch MS in Harmony, the first digital music therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
“We’re thrilled to have the chance to share music therapy with the MS community through MS in Harmony,” Tina Deignan, PhD, said in a press release. Deignan is senior vice president and U.S. business unit head for immunology at BMS.
Music therapy has been used as part of comprehensive management plans for people with central nervous system diseases such as MS for years. Research suggests it may be beneficial for both physical and mental function.
The website MSinHarmony.com is intended to be a friendly, supportive, and informative space that offers specialized music therapy for MS patients in video exercises led by credentialed music therapists, as well as information regarding its potential beneficial effects.
When visiting the website, patients and caregivers can explore music therapy exercises in an interactive and engaging way, with the benefit of doing it in the safety and comfort of their home.
“There’s a growing body of research on the potential benefits of music therapy for people living with MS — and still, many people living with the condition may not have the opportunity to give it a try,” said Deborah Benkovitz Williams, president of the AMTA.
“MS in Harmony makes music therapy-based exercises widely accessible to people with MS and their care partners,” Benkowitz said.
Courtney Platt, Ben Platt’s sister-in-law, has relapsing MS and is leading the MSinHarmony Instagram social challenge, an initiative that invites MS patients and others to sing and dance to a song and share a video online using the tag #MSinHarmony. The goal is to help spread mind-body harmony in support of those with MS.
“As a lifelong dancer, a lover and believer in the power of all things musical — and someone living with relapsing MS, MS in Harmony is an amazing experience for me,” said Courtney Platt. “I’m so glad to have music therapy as another tool to help me manage my condition — and I am so incredibly excited to be able to share the potential of music therapy with the rest of the MS community.”
“Music is a huge part of who I am,” added Ben Platt, “and it has always had the power to shift my emotional and mental state. Music therapy harnesses the power of music to evoke physical and mental responses, and I’m so proud to be involved with MS in Harmony for my sister-in-law Courtney — and everyone living with MS.”
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