Communication disorders in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease
The chief complaint in PD is a quiet voice, making it difficult for others to hear the person speaking. Sometimes individuals have difficulty realizing that their voice has changed but are frustrated that they are frequently asked to repeat themselves, are aware that they cannot be heard over background noise, or run out of breath when they are speaking. Some individuals who have altered prosody are frustrated because their communication partner cannot tell when the person with PD is telling a joke or using sarcasm.
If you or a loved one feels that they may be impacted by one or more of these symptoms, your speech pathologist may be able to help. Some speech pathologists, such as Allison Geller M.A. CCC-SLP have obtained specialized training in treatment of these disorders via a method that has been developed and scientifically researched over the past 25 years is called the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program (LSVT).
LSVT LOUD is the first speech treatment with level 1 evidence and established efficacy for treating voice and speech disorders in people with PD. Research on LSVT LOUD has documented improved impact on multiple levels of functioning in people with PD following treatment including:
- Increased vocal loudness
- Improved articulation and speech intelligibility
- Improved intonation
- Improvements in facial expression
- Changes in neural functioning related to voice and speech
LSVT LOUD is a standardized treatment protocol that is customized to the unique communication goals of each person across a range of disease severity and communication impairments.
LSVT LOUD treatment consists of:
1) 16 sessions: 4 consecutive days a week for 4 weeks
2) Individual 1 hour sessions
3) Daily homework practice
4) Daily carryover exercises
It is essential that LSVT LOUD treatment is onlydelivered by speech-language pathologists who are certified in this method. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us for more information!