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Help for Parkinson's Patients focuses on getting LOUD

May 1, 2018, 08:17 AM
28_Speech Therapist LOUD Program-101

Patients with Parkinson’s disease often speak with a very soft voice and are sometimes hard to understand. That’s because the muscles they use to speak and swallow are weakened by the illness.

Patients are getting help and getting LOUD with the assistance of certified therapists at Skagit Regional Health’s Rehabilitation Department.

The LSVT LOUD program is complimentary to the LSVT BIG program. The LOUD program focuses on the muscles that support speech and swallowing while BIG works on extremity and body movements to strengthen muscles to help with daily tasks and walking. Both programs are available at Skagit Valley Hospital and are based on the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) program.

The LOUD program is an intensive speech therapy series to help patients speak louder and improve clarity of communications. Exercising the muscles involved with speech also transitions to assist with swallowing.

“With Parkinson’s, everything kind of gets smaller especially the movements,” said Kristin Conzo, certified LSVT LOUD therapist. “With this therapy, the body starts to grow accustomed to being bigger and louder. It helps reset their system back to normal loudness and normal movement.”

The therapy sessions involve patients saying an “ahhh” sound for as long and as loud as they can and repeating the exercise 10 times to stimulate the muscles of the voice box. A biofeedback system shows on a computer screen the strength and length of their ability to hold the tone and volume. Subsequently, patients are asked to repeat sentences, phrases and names that are important to them, that they can use in their daily lives. Patients are instructed to practice these exercises daily at home and attend one-hour personalized appointments two to four times each week.

“Some patients can only speak two or three words when they initially come in, or they can’t be understood,” Conzo said. “After therapy, families report they can hear and understand their family member and they are speaking more.”

The program, which requires a physician referral, is highly regarded by Skagit Regional Clinics Neurologist Patti Brettell, MD.

“This program, along with the BIG program, empowers patients to participate in their own healing. It is amazing to see how energized patients are when they return to the office,” Dr. Brettell said. “We have an engaged and dedicated rehabilitation team who are not only practicing American Parkinson's Disease Association guidelines, but inspiring the whole organization with their commitment to patient care.”

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Last post : 12/14/2019

Help for Parkinson's Patients focuses on getting LOUD

May 1, 2018, 08:17 AM
28_Speech Therapist LOUD Program-101

Patients with Parkinson’s disease often speak with a very soft voice and are sometimes hard to understand. That’s because the muscles they use to speak and swallow are weakened by the illness.

Patients are getting help and getting LOUD with the assistance of certified therapists at Skagit Regional Health’s Rehabilitation Department.

The LSVT LOUD program is complimentary to the LSVT BIG program. The LOUD program focuses on the muscles that support speech and swallowing while BIG works on extremity and body movements to strengthen muscles to help with daily tasks and walking. Both programs are available at Skagit Valley Hospital and are based on the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) program.

The LOUD program is an intensive speech therapy series to help patients speak louder and improve clarity of communications. Exercising the muscles involved with speech also transitions to assist with swallowing.

“With Parkinson’s, everything kind of gets smaller especially the movements,” said Kristin Conzo, certified LSVT LOUD therapist. “With this therapy, the body starts to grow accustomed to being bigger and louder. It helps reset their system back to normal loudness and normal movement.”

The therapy sessions involve patients saying an “ahhh” sound for as long and as loud as they can and repeating the exercise 10 times to stimulate the muscles of the voice box. A biofeedback system shows on a computer screen the strength and length of their ability to hold the tone and volume. Subsequently, patients are asked to repeat sentences, phrases and names that are important to them, that they can use in their daily lives. Patients are instructed to practice these exercises daily at home and attend one-hour personalized appointments two to four times each week.

“Some patients can only speak two or three words when they initially come in, or they can’t be understood,” Conzo said. “After therapy, families report they can hear and understand their family member and they are speaking more.”

The program, which requires a physician referral, is highly regarded by Skagit Regional Clinics Neurologist Patti Brettell, MD.

“This program, along with the BIG program, empowers patients to participate in their own healing. It is amazing to see how energized patients are when they return to the office,” Dr. Brettell said. “We have an engaged and dedicated rehabilitation team who are not only practicing American Parkinson's Disease Association guidelines, but inspiring the whole organization with their commitment to patient care.”