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
LSVT is a relatively new approach to treatment of Parkinson’s disease
involving the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to
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
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
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.