Parkinson’s Disease in ME

Parkinson’s has it’s own associated version of dementia.  The good folks at Coastal Rehab are part of the Dementia Care Coalition.  Nathalie shares this info on their specific program for Parkinson’s.

“Our LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Training) program is for patients with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.

LSVT LOUD is a program performed by certified speech therapists to help improve vocal loudness, speech intelligibility, facial expression and confidence. Nearly every person with Parkinson’s experiences speech problems starting early in the disease process, which progressively diminish their quality of life. Medicine and neurosurgery typically do not help speech disorders. The most effective way to improve speech is through speech therapy.

LSVT BIG is a program performed by certified PTs or OTs to help improve faster walking with bigger steps, improve balance and quality of movement, all areas with which patients with PD struggle.

FMI Contact:
Nathalie Descheneaux, OTR/L, MS
Occupational Therapist/Owner
LSVT BIGTM Certified
Coastal Rehab, LLC
2 Davis Point Lane • Suite 1A
Cape Elizabeth • ME 04107
Tel 207.767.9773
Fax 207.541.9212
LSVT™: An evidence-based, effective treatment for Parkinson Disease

LSVT LOUD™ is an effective speech treatment for individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) and other neurological conditions.  LSVT LOUD™, named for Mrs. Lee Silverman (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment – LSVT) was developed in 1987 and has been scientifically studied for nearly 20 years. Published research data support improvements in vocal loudness, intonation, articulation, facial expression, swallowing and voice quality for individuals with PD who received LSVT LOUD, with improvements maintained up to two years after treatment.

LSVT LOUD™  improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the larynx and speech mechanism through a systematic hierarchy of exercises. Focused on a single goal “speak LOUD!” – the treatment improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to  maximize speech intelligibility. The treatment does not train people for shouting or yelling; rather, LSVT LOUD™  uses loudness training to bring the voice to an improved, healthy vocal loudness with no strain.

Treatment is administered in 16 sessions over a single month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). This intensive mode of administration is consistent with theories of motor learning and skill acquisition, as well as with principles of neural plasticity, and is critical to attaining optimal results. The treatment not only simulates the motor system but also incorporates sensory awareness training to help individuals with PD recognize that their voice is too soft, convincing them that the louder voice is within normal limits, and making them comfortable with their new louder voice.

Patients are trained to self-generate the adequate amount of loudness to make their speech understood. While LSVT LOUD™  has been successfully administered to individuals in all stages of PD, the treatment has been most effective among those who are in early or middle stages of the condition.

Recently, principles of LSVT LOUD™ were applied to limb movement (LSVT BIG™). Specifically, training increased amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with Parkinson disease has documented improvements in amplitude (trunk rotation/gait) that generalized to improved speed (upper/lower limbs), balance, and quality of life.

LSVT BIG™  can be delivered by a physical or occupational therapist. Treatment is administered in 16 sessions over a single month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). This protocol was developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson disease. The protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. This type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!

Start exercising NOW – as soon as possible. According to recent surveys, it is at the time of diagnosis that patients often begin to consider lifestyle changes and seek education about conventional and complementary/alternative treatment options. Thus referrals to exercise, wellness programs and physical/occupational therapy would be best initiated at diagnosis, when it may have the most impact on quality of life.

To locate a Certified LSVT LOUD or LSVT BIG Clinician in your area please visit:

Author: Nathalie Descheneaux