Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system and the parts of the body controlled by the nerves. Symptoms include tremors or rhythmic shaking, slowed movement, rigid muscles, impaired posture or balance, loss of automatic movements, speech changes, and writing changes.
These programs were created to help patients overcome the challenges related to their diagnosis, specifically regarding speech and mobility. Each program is tailored to the individual’s needs and a clinical plan is put in place to help each patient succeed. Depending on the clinical analysis, patients may choose to complete the programs consecutively or simultaneously.
“There are over one million people in the world living with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, with an additional 90,000 people diagnosed every year,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “As the Parkinson’s population continues to increase, it became more evident that we needed to find a way to serve that group of patients. We are continually looking for ways to implement effective treatments and programs, and LSVT® has a proven track record of success.”
LSVT Loud® is a speech therapy treatment that consists of 16 sessions with an LSVT®-trained clinician over a four-week period. Sessions typically last an hour and “homework” is provided to help carryover the training while at home. Patients who go through the treatment have been shown to have increased vocal loudness, improved articulation and speech intelligibility, improved intonation, improvements in facial expression, and changes in neural functioning related to voice and speech.
The physical therapy component of the program, LSVT Big®, also consists of 16 sessions with an LSVT®-trained clinician over a four-week period. During the therapy session, large amplitude exercises are utilized to work the whole body and personalized functional skills practices are implemented. Documented outcomes of patients who have undergone LSVT Big® include faster walking with bigger steps, improved balance and reduced risk of falling, increased trunk rotation, improvements in activities of daily living, and improved multi-tasking while walking.
“While we know there is no cure for this disease, it is our goal to help patients with Parkinson’s live the highest quality life possible,” said Hospital Authority Chairman Richard E. Turner, Jr. “We are proud to now offer these programs and have already seen the major difference it has made in the lives of our patients.”
LSVT Big and LSVT Loud is currently accepting new patients and does require a physician’s order. For those interested in more information, please call 229-890-3553.