PAM Rehab Battles Parkinson’s Disease with LSVT therapy

Cyndi Lyons, OTR; Jennifer Deans, PTA; Christine Ross, PT, DPT; Jessly Lopez, PT, DPT; Noah Gregorio, PT; Lyn Williams, M.S., CCC-SLP

PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Clear Lake is committed to facilitating functional improvement in its patients. To address the needs of patients with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions, its therapist has undergone certification in Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD and BIG.

As Parkinson’s disease progresses, individuals often exhibit reduced loudness, monotone speech, a hoarse vocal quality. Individuals frequently report “people can’t hear me on the phone” or “my family say they cannot hear me.” Slowed movement, rigid muscles, unstable balance, and a “shuffling gait” are also noted with Parkinson’s Disease. These symptoms may cause frequent falls and overall decreased mobility.

LSVT LOUD was developed in 1987 and is the first speech treatment with level one evidence and established efficacy for treating voice and speech disorders in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. This treatment protocol improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech through an organized hierarchy of exercises. LSVT LOUD is facilitated by a certified Speech Language Pathologist over 16 sessions. Patients are required to attend four individual 60 minute sessions per week for one month.

In order for a patient to receive LSVT LOUD treatment, they must have the following:

  • Physician order for a LSVT LOUD evaluation
  • Comprehensive examination with an Otolaryngologist

The principles of LSVT LOUD were also applied to limb movement via LSVT BIG, which aims to generalize limb speed, balance, and quality of life via repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. This treatment is directed by a certified physical or occupational therapist. Like LSVT LOUD, it is administered in 16 sessions over a single month. Patients are required to attend four individual 60 minute sessions per week.

PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Clear Lake presently has 6 therapists certified in the LSVT treatment programs. Therapists underwent a two day course in order to obtain certification. Each therapist is required to complete a renewal course every two years in order to ensure compliance with the most current advances and research.

Anyone interested in these treatment protocols is encouraged to contact PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Clear Lake at 832-224-9500 with any questions they may have.

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