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Good Samaritan Hospital is finding success in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, Parkinson’s is very diverse. It affects around one million people in the United States and 10 million worldwide.
There is no standard treatment for Parkinson’s and while the disease itself is not fatal, complications can be serious. Treatment for each person with the disease is based on a person’s individual symptoms. There are many medications available used to help treat Parkinson’s; however, physical and occupational therapy have a huge impact on Parkinson’s patients to help them keep moving.
Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) involves the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. The approach aims to address the “internal” aspects of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, leading to significant functional improvements.
LSVT treatment consists of 16 sessions (four days a week for four weeks), individual one-hour sessions, daily homework practice, and daily carryover exercises. There are two types of LSVT therapies offered at Good Samaritan, LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD. LSVT is a standardized treatment protocol customized to the unique goals of each patient including both gross and fine motor skills. LSVT BIG helps patients use their body more normally. LSVT LOUD is a speech treatment established for treating voice and speech disorders in Parkinson’s patients.
“We have seen these treatments have a large impact on the health and well-being of our Parkinson’s patients and we have more staff getting certified to offer this treatment so we are able to help more patients,” said Stephen Wissel, Director of Physical Medicine and Inpatient Rehabilitation.
Patients and families who are interested in LSVT therapy and would like more information can contact Good Samaritan Physical Medicine Department by calling (812) 885-3011. Additional information about other therapies and services offered can be found by going online to gshvin.org.