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Parkinson’s BIG & LOUD Program

Dedicated Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

Two programs at Horizon Health help individuals with Parkinson’s disease improve their quality of life--LSVT BIG & LSVT Loud. These programs are designed to improve speech and body movement, which the disease primarily affects. The programs are led by certified licensed therapists in Horizon Health’s Rehabilitation Services Department.

LSVT LOUD and LSVT BIG were founded by Dr. Lorraine Ramig, a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her work to develop an effective speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease began in the 1980s when she met Mrs. Lee Silverman. Dr. Ramig’s speech treatment protocol, called Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD), was later expanded to a physical and occupational therapy program called LSVT BIG.

For more information about both programs, call Horizon Health’s Rehabilitation Services Department at (217) 466-4244.

“LSVT BIG” Program

This one-on-one physical therapy program focuses on improving body movements. This involves refining smaller movements, such as self-care, to larger movements like getting up from a sofa or maintaining balance while walking. The program’s guiding principle is “Think BIG!” as it reteaches patients how normal movement should feel.

LSVT BIG involves 16 one-hour sessions spread over four weeks. In addition to the sessions, participants are directed to practice their exercises while at home. Home exercise is critical to successful treatment.

“LSVT LOUD” Program

This program is considered the “gold standard” of speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease. The one-on-one sessions improve communication by helping the patient speak with a voice and volume that is easy for others to hear and understand.

Exercises help strengthen the voice box (larynx), speech system, and “reset” the patient’s perception of how loud he or she is speaking. As a result, patients can experience better articulation, changes in swallowing, improved facial expressions while talking, and even speech-related brain changes.

Like LSVT BIG, LSVT LOUD involves 16 one-hour sessions spread over four weeks and home practice is essential for success.


Parkinson's Therapy

Brenda Stevens, speech-language pathologist, and Annie Barrett, doctor of physical therapy, discuss Parkinson's disease and therapy. They explain the disease and helpful programs, including offered at Horizon Health.

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