Parkinson’s Disease Therapy

parkinsons outpatient therapyA Personal Approach to Care

The Helen Hayes Hospital Outpatient Neurology Center offers innovative treatment programs for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders. LSVT BIG™ and LSVT LOUD™ and Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery™ (PWR!) can help individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease lead an improved quality of life.

LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD are research-based therapy protocols that address two of the main symptoms associated with Parkinson’s: functional mobility and speech output.

LSVT BIG addresses movement impairments by using increased amplitude limb and body movement with intensive and high effort training, along with sensory calibration. The patient mimics the therapist during intensive, complex and repetitive core movements that are used in daily living. LSVT BIG has been documented to be effective in improving independence with activities of daily living, and increasing safety, walking, balance and enhancing quality of life.

LSVT LOUD is an effective speech treatment that improves vocal loudness, intonation and voice quality. The therapy is also effective in managing disordered articulation, diminished facial expression and impaired swallowing. It uses enhancement of sound and articulation to bring the voice to an improved, healthy vocal loudness with no strain.

Complementing these treatments is Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!), a program where Parkinson’s patients receive research-based exercise programming that is neuroplasticity-principled. Such programming holds the promise of slowing disease progression, restoring motor function, and increasing longevity and quality of life.

These new treatments are provided by Helen Hayes Hospital LSVT® certified physical, occupational and speech therapists. The LSVT intensive protocol calls for four consecutive days of treatment, consisting of 60-minute sessions, for four weeks. The protocol is completed once, with “burst” or tune-up sessions of a shorter length every six to twelve months, depending on the patient’s functional status. Helen Hayes Hospital has taken Medicare therapy caps into consideration for the provision of LSVT BIG protocols. By splitting the consecutive sessions between physical and occupational therapy, the protocol can be completed without going over each discipline’s cap.

A one to two week trial can be completed to determine the individual’s tolerance. If the patient is not appropriate for LSVT treatment, physical, occupational and speech therapy using amplified based theories can be given. These treatments can improve the patient’s functional status and decrease caregiver burden. Although techniques are specific to Parkinson’s Disease deficits (bradykinesia/hypokinesia and kinesthetic awareness), they can also be helpful for patients with other neurological disorders.

While medications are beneficial in addressing PD’s symptoms, therapeutic interventions such as LSVT BIG, LSVT LOUD and Parkinson Wellness Recovery can help in keeping patients moving and functioning at the highest level. For additional information, call the Helen Hayes Hospital Outpatient Neurology Center at 845-786-4306.

The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets the 3rd Friday of each month at 10:30am.

Stay tuned for upcoming wellness programs!


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