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Parkinson's Disease Treatment Available at HAMC

Posted on 8/22/2016

Alli Rognlien and Janaye St. Michel
Alli Rognlien and Janaye St. Michel
Parkinson's disease, (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people diagnosed with it. Symptoms can take several years to develop and often start with a tremor in one hand. Other symptoms can include slow movement, stiffness and loss of balance.

In the US alone, Parkinson's affects nearly 1 million people. Providers diagnose as many as 60,000 new cases each year. Parkinson's strikes 50 percent more men than women with the average age of onset being 60 years old.

In August, Alli Rognlien; MS, OTR/L, CLT, Director of Occupational Therapy and Janaye St. Michel, MOTR/L were certified in Lee Silverman Voice Treatments (LSVT BIG). LSVT BIG is an innovative and clinically-proven method for improving communication and movement in individuals with Parkinson disease with application to other neurological conditions.

"We treat several patients who have Parkinson's disease as a secondary diagnosis. Often times, it's difficult to see progress with the primary diagnosis because the Parkinson's would limit them. Being certified in LSVT BIG, we will be able to focus on their Parkinson's diagnosis and help them gain independence on even the smallest of daily tasks." States Rognlien.

"It's been difficult for me, watching my grandmother struggle with Parkinson's. Having this certification, means that I will be able to help patients like my grandmother get their lives back." States St. Michel.

The LSVT BIG treatment consists of 16 sessions: 4 consecutive weeks with 1 hour individual sessions. There is daily homework practice and daily carryover exercises. LSVT BIG will teach patients how to avoid inactivity and keep movements active during daily activities. It will help patients participate fully and improve their quality of life.

"The treatment is intense, it takes discipline and commitment from both the patient and their family; that's why we felt it was important to bring this certification to HAMC, so patients are closer to home." Adds Rognlien.

Research on LSVT BIG has documented improved ratings on tests of motor functions. Improvements include: faster walking with bigger steps, improved balance and increased trunk rotation.

Talk to your primary care provider to see if you are a candidate for the LSVT BIG treatment program at HAMC. For more information, contact the Wellness Center at Heart of America Medical Center at 776.5455 ext. 2209 or log onto LSVT BIG's website at www.lsvtglobal.com.

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Heart of America Medical Center      800 South Main Avenue      Rugby, ND 58368      Tel: 701.776.5261      Fax: 701.776.5448      TDD: 701.776.5043