Be LOUD and think BIG! That’s the advice RiverView Rehab Service therapists Erin Jore, MS, CCC-SLP, Lori Hefta, MPT, and Madeline Graff, MOTR/L, are giving some of their patients these days. All three are now certified in the LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) LOUD and LSVT BIG programs designed to help individuals with Parkinson Disease (PD) and other neurological conditions.

    Be LOUD and think BIG! That’s the advice RiverView Rehab Service therapists Erin Jore, MS, CCC-SLP, Lori Hefta, MPT, and Madeline Graff, MOTR/L, are giving some of their patients these days. All three are now certified in the LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) LOUD and LSVT BIG programs designed to help individuals with Parkinson Disease (PD) and other neurological conditions.
 
LSVT LOUD

    As a speech-pathologist, Jore works with the LSVT LOUD program to help patients improve vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through a variety of exercises. Focused on a single goal “speak LOUD!” – the treatment improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to maximize speech intelligibility.

    Jore reports that the patients she has worked with have not only increased their vocal loudness, but have also increased their intonation and expressiveness. “A person’s voice is a part of their identity. It is amazing to give that back to them,’’ she shared. “This program helps restore confidence and a desire to interact with others that they thought was lost.’’

    LSVT LOUD, named for Mrs. Lee Silverman, was developed in 1987 and has been scientifically studied for nearly 20 years with funding from the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health. Published research documents improvements maintained up to two years after treatment. Recent research studies have also documented the effectiveness of this therapy in improving the common problems of disordered articulation, diminished facial expression and impaired swallowing. Additionally, two brain imaging studies have documented evidence of positive changes in the brain following administration of the therapy.

LSVT BIG

    Physical Therapist Lori Hefta and Occupational Therapist Madeline Graff are certified in the LSVT BIG® treatment approach. LSVT BIG training is driven by exercises of high intensity, amplitude and calibration.

    The goal of LSVT BIG is to increase the amplitude of limb and body movement in people with PD and other conditions; therefore, decreasing the amount of tremors and shuffling and improving trunk rotation and gait. The program has also been generalized to improve speed, balance, and quality of life. In addition, people are able to maintain these improvements when challenged with a dual task. LSVT BIG is credited with bringing better movement into everyday life. There has been documentation of both long term and short term improvements when utilizing the LSVT BIG approach.

    LSVT LOUD® and LSVT BIG are often completed as a program by the Rehab Team to provide the patient with a more holistic approach.

    “It really is an amazing program,’’ Jore said. “The earlier an individual is seen for treatment the better.’’

    She said referrals often come from family members because individuals may not realize their voice or gait has changed. If you or someone you know would benefit from LSVT, contact Rehab Services at 218-281-9463.