Speech Therapy Blog: Parkinson’s Disease

Did you know, there are six million people with Parkinson’s Disease Worldwide? 89% of those have a speech or voice problem and only 4% of those people receive traditional speech therapy?

Speech Characteristic of Parkinson’s Disease (PD):

  • Reduced loudness
  • Hoarse voice quality
  • Monotone
  • Imprecise articulation
  • Vocal tremor
  • Some patients report volume, hoarse voice or monotone as the first PD symptom

Therapy Benefits to include:

  • Articulation
  • Rate of speech
  • Swallowing Ability
  • Facial Expression
  • Breath support for speech

LSVT Loud Program

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) BIG and LOUD programs were created for patients with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions.
Windom Area Health is one of the only hospitals in the area to offer both programs BIG and LOUD together. The LSVT® Programs have been developed and scientifically researched over the past 20 years with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

LSVT LOUD is a speech treatment that helps boost vocal volume using exercises that stimulate the voice box muscles. In addition to being a treatment for Parkinson’s patients, LSVT LOUD may help with disordered articulation, diminished facial expression, and impaired swallowing. LSVT LOUD teaches you how to use a louder voice automatically in daily communication with long-term carryover.

Time of Practice

  • 4 consecutive days per week for 4 weeks
  • 16 sessions in one month
  • 60 minute sessions
  • Daily carryover assignments (30 days/entire month)
  • Daily homework (30 days/entire month)

Here at Windom Area Health, our speech therapist can evaluate you and work with you to improve your communication skills. Talk with your doctor about a referral to speech therapy. We then schedule an evaluation with our speech therapist, discuss a plan for services and determine a therapy schedule that works for you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 507-831-0634.

Blog Written By: Joann Anderson, CCC-SLP

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