Eye on Health: Local program turning back the clock for people with Parkinson's disease
There's a program happening right now in our area that's turning back the clock for some people with Parkinson's disease. It's called the LSVT program at Goshen Health, and physical therapists there say it's changing lives both for patients and their families.
The LSVT program is a two-part research based therapy program. It's an intense four weeks, four days a week of work. One part focuses on getting people with Parkinson's back what they once had when it comes to movement. It uses eight repetitive exercises to help with everyday tasks.
"So more or less what we're trying to do is induce a change within the brain and remap how we go about doing kind of everyday things we take for granted," Physical therapist Zak Lusk says. "It's actually unbelievable the change it makes. It's really fun to see spouses and family members that around the holidays will come in and say, 'Man, this is my old father who we haven't been able to see him get out of a couch like that - we've always had to pull him up or help him up,' - that sort of thing."
Speech language pathologist Annie Brock says, "We can't stop the progression of Parkinson's, but what this does is help people realize you can live with Parkinson's. You can maintain some of the functionality that people didn't think they could do."
The second part of the program focuses on communication and using specific exercises to get patients talking loud and confident. This is so they can do things like talk on the phone again or order at a restaurant.
The LSVT program is geared towards Parkinson's disease but can also benefit people with other neurological diseases.