L.S.V.T. Parkinson’s Has Nothing On Me!
What is LSVT?
Lee Silverman Voice Treatments (LSVT) is an innovative method to improve communication and movement in Parkinson disease patients. LSVT can also be applied to other neurological conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis. There are two treatments, LSVT LOUD™ and LSVT BIG™. LSVT BIG™ treatment focuses on limb movement, body movement and balance. This treatment can be delivered by a physical or occupational therapist and is administered in 16 sessions over a single month. LSVT LOUD™ stimulates muscles of the voice box to improve vocal loudness. This treatment also improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to maximize clearness of speech.
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, and it affects about one million people in the United States. The disease progresses slowly, meaning that people living with Parkinson’s disease will be living with the disease for twenty years or more from the time of diagnosis. The nerve cell that makes dopamine in the brain is slowly destroyed in individuals with this disease. Without dopamine, nerve cells can not send proper messages, and this leads to loss of muscle function. This disease leads to body tremors and difficulty with walking, movement and coordination. Parkinson’s disease most commonly develops after age 50. Symptoms begin mildly, and may affect one or both sides of the body. Some symptoms include: slow blinking, drooling, no facial expressions, shaking (tremors), slower and quieter speech and rigid or stiff muscles.
Why choose LSVT?
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease; therefore the goal of any treatment is to control the symptoms. Individuals with this disease can choose medication, lifestyle changes or surgery to help with symptoms. However, many medications have severe side effects such as hallucinations and delirium. LSVT falls under the lifestyle change category. LSVD was the first effective treatment for voice and speech disorders of people with Parkinson’s disease and was developed in 1987.
IU Health Ball Memorial Rehabilitation Center is the only facility in Muncie with a comprehensive LSVT BIG™ treatment program. The program is beneficial for all Parkinson’s disease patients because it provides them with an exercise plan to use throughout the progression of their disease. Patients must commit to daily exercises outside of therapy, and will need someone to assist them if they cannot do it on their own.
What are causes and risk factors Parkinson’s disease?
The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but there are factors that seem to play a role. These factors are genetics and environmental triggers. There are rare cases where a genetic mutation can be identified as the cause of Parkinson’s disease, but many family members are affected in these cases. Exposure to certain toxins can increase risk for developing the disease as well. Risk factors for developing this disease are age, heredity, sex and exposure to toxins.
Where can I learn more?
We are hosting a free seminar 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Thursday, May 9 at the IU Health Ball Memorial Rehabilitation Center in Muncie. Dr. John Wulff, neurologist with Neurology of Eastern Indiana will be discussing recent advances in therapy treatments for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The seminar will also feature several physical and occupational therapists from IU Health Ball Memorial Rehabilitation Services and we’ll leave plenty of time to answer any questions people may have about the treatments. Registration is required for the free event by calling 765.741.1073 or 800.237.9625.
Julie Anderson is a physical therapist at the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Rehabilitation Center located on Community Drive in Muncie. Stephanie Harms, physical therapist, and Mary Karberg, occupational therapist, are also therapists at the rehab location certified in the LSVT treatment technique. For more information, please visit iuhealth.org/ball-memorial.