The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) is one option to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) and addresses these issues for improved communication. LSVT is an innovative voice therapy approach that is effective for treating the decreased volume, mumbled and monotone speech, and hoarse voice in people with PD.
Please know that there is hope! In the years we’ve worked with the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), we’ve seen numerous success stories – even in cases where the voice was virtually gone. LSVT is an innovative, evidence-based voice therapy approach that effectively treats the decreased volume, mumbled and monotone speech, and hoarse voice in Parkinson’s patients. The technique has also demonstrated significant improvements with clients affected by stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.
This intensive therapy requires attending four sessions per week for four weeks. During that time, the patient learns to recalibrate their sense of what their normal speaking voice sounds like, by habitually reminding themselves to speak louder and to exaggerate enunciation. As a result, the voice they produce through their weakened vocal folds is actually closer to its pre-Parkinson’s state! While this may seem simple, this intensive therapy helps to reprogram the brain so that we get used to speaking with more volume and clearer articulation. This rigorous workout can not only stop voice degradation, it can improve it – with lasting results. It is shown to actually strengthen the vocal folds!
After the LSVT is completed, we can see gains in other areas typically affected by Parkinson’s, including livelier facial expressions. Communication can become enjoyable once again. We have found this treatment to be incredibly helpful to patients, who can again express themselves and be understood by their loved ones. One of our patients enrolled in this treatment specifically because he wanted to be able to tell his wife he loved her once again. Talk about using your words wisely!
Additionally, we also offer cognitive-communication treatment to address and compensate for PD related changes in memory and attention as they impact safety, quality of life, and relationships.