Good Samaritan Now Offering Groundbreaking New Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
Good Samaritan has joined the movement for what is thought by many in the field of physical medicine to be the finest treatment for Parkinson’s disease to date. Joy Uy, Physical Therapist and James Schenk, Occupational Therapist of Good Samaritan are certified providers for this Parkinson’s treatment program.
LSVT is a relatively new approach to treatment of Parkinson’s disease involving the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This approach aims to address the “internal” aspects of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, leading to significant functional movements.
There are two sections of LSVT, BIG and LOUD. LSVT BIG is a standardized treatment protocol, which is customized to the unique goals of each patient including both gross and fine motor skills. LSVT LOUD is customized to the unique communication goals of each person across a range of disease severity and communication impairments.
Over the last twenty-five years, the National Institutes of Health have been researching and developing LSVT BIG and LOUD to help treat patients with symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Uy says she and Schenk are currently utilizing the LSVT treatment protocol to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s patients in Good Samaritan’s Rehabilitation Center.
Research on LSVT BIG has documented improved ratings for people with Parkinson’s disease on: faster walking with bigger steps, improved balance, increased trunk rotation, improvements in activities of daily living and improved motor skills.
LSVT LOUD documented improvements in Parkinson’s patients on: increased vocal loudness, improved articulation and speech intelligibility, improved intonation, improvements in facial expression and changes in neural functioning related to voice and speech.
Patients usually can see and feel a significant change “after one hour daily” of LSVT treatment Uy said. Results from this treatment are “long term but patients need to carry over tasks and home exercises,” explained Uy. Without continually performing the exercises the improvements will slowly diminish and the symptoms will return.
LSVT treatment consists of 16 sessions of four consecutive days over a four week span for one hour at a time. Each patient is given individualized homework practices and carryover exercises to perform on their own to keep symptoms at bay and continue to increase progress.
Schenk explained that with Parkinson’s disease, a patient’s options are very limited aside from medication. With LSVT rapidly growing, Parkinson’s patients now have the choice of being more independent and having more control over their lives.
“When a patient reports they can move better, easier and bigger now” is the most rewarding part of Uy’s career.
If you or someone you know might benefit from LSVT, call Good Samaritan’s Rehabilitation Center at 812.885.3601 and visit lsvtglobal.com to learn what options are available to you and how to begin LSVT treatment.