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Nyhus certified in Parkinson’s speech treatment

Laura Nyhus, a speech language pathologist at Perham Health, has completed her certifications in LSVT LOUD, a speech treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

LSVT LOUD, named for Mrs. Lee Silverman (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) was developed in 1987 and has been scientifically studied for nearly 20 years.

“Published research data supports improvements in vocal loudness, intonation and voice quality for individuals with Parkinson’s disease who received LSVT LOUD, with improvements up to two years after treatment,” stated Nyhus in a press release.

“Recent research studies have also documented the effectiveness of this therapy in improving the common problems of disordered articulation, diminished facial expression and impaired swallowing,” she added. “Additionally, two brain imaging studies have documented evidence of positive changes in the brain following administration of the therapy.”

LSVT LOUD improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box and speech mechanism through a systematic hierarchy of exercises. Focused on a single goal,“speak LOUD!” – the treatment improves respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to maximize speech intelligibility.

The treatment does not train people for shouting or yelling; rather, it uses loudness training to bring the voice to an improved, healthy vocal loudness with no strain. The treatment not only stimulates the motor system, but also incorporates sensory awareness training to help individuals with Parkinson’s disease recognize that their voice is too soft, convincing them that the louder voice is within normal limits, and making them comfortable with their new louder voice.

Recently, LSVT LOUD has been applied to select individuals with stroke, multiple sclerosis, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, with positive outcomes.

To learn more about the treatment or to make an appointment with Nyhus, contact Perham Health’s Nelson Therapy Center at 347-1590.