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Learn more about Parkinson's disease

In Parkinson's disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain that produce a chemical messenger known as dopamine gradually break down or die. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to impaired movement and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease. In fact, one of the first – and one of the most overlooked – symptoms can be a change in voice volume and quality. These changes are attributed to a weakening of the thyroarytenoid muscle that makes up the bulk of the vocal fold. When vocal folds atrophy or become weak, a gap forms between them, which prevents them from closing completely and vibrating as they should.

Ultimately, 89 percent of Parkinson’s sufferers will experience some form of speech and voice problems such as reduced volume, decreased pitch range, and/or slurred articulation of sounds or syllables.

Typically, patients are so preoccupied with the tremors and other physical manifestations of the disease that they don’t pay as much attention to the loss of voice. That is, until they discover they can’t be understood at all.

When we lose our voices, we lose our most efficient way to communicate. People who can no longer speak audibly may tend to isolate and withdraw, as they can no longer instantaneously express themselves or participate in conversations. For someone who is also going through the many changes and transitions of Parkinson’s, it can be doubly traumatic to be unable to discuss your concerns to your health care providers or your fears and needs to those who love you.

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Learn more about Parkinson's disease
Qualified therapists

Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists are specially trained in speech therapy as it relates to cognitive-communication issues (how you listen, process, focus, remember, and communicate). We are also nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are nationally recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America and are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). We are licensed to practice in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We believe every patient deserves the best treatment and support we can offer in every single contact and interaction with us.
 

Individual approach

We recognize that no two people have the same needs and that everyone has different learning styles. That’s why we like to call our approach “the Progressive way,” which means we will happily customize treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. We also believe in “the right fit” between patient and therapist, so will make every effort to match you with a clinician who connects with you, understands you, and utilizes a therapy style that is comfortable for you.

We are here to help

Depending on the goals you wish to accomplish and the learning pace that is most comfortable for you, we will arm you with the evidence-based strategies, proven skills and ample support you need to feel more organized, prepared and effective. Therapy strategies may range from recommendations for specific tools (such as timers or planners), one-on-one brainstorming and problem-solving to address concerns, therapeutic activities as well as computer trials or worksheets to help strengthen cognitive and executive functions like attention, memory, and planning.
 

Coaching with compassion

We know that working on cognitive-communication issues is hard work and that it can be easy to feel defeated or overwhelmed by the challenges of building a more efficient brain. However, you will not be in this alone. We are not just speech-language pathologists; we are fellow human beings who care about you, your journey, and your success. We don’t want an appointment to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Instead, you’ll find a comfortable space where you’ll feel listened to and understood. And because humor makes everything more bearable, be prepared to laugh and joke a bit too!