Innovative Speech Therapy Offers Hope for Patients with Parkinson's Disease

Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine Offers Self-Confidence Boosting Therapy

More than 75 percent of individuals with Parkinson's disease have voice and speech disorders, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health. A nationally recognized speech therapy method designed to increase the functional communications of people with neurological disorders, especially those associated Parkinson's disease, is now available at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine. 

People with Parkinson's disease tend to speak in a low-monotone voice, can have slurred speech, and may take long pauses between words. The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®) concentrates on a simple set of tasks designed to improve voice and respiratory functions, so people with Parkinson's can participate in and enjoy conversations as part of their daily living. 

Parkinson's disease affects about 1.5 million Americans and belongs to a group of motor system disorders marked by tremors in the extremities and face, rigidity of the limbs and trunk, slow movement, and impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking and performing other simple tasks. Problems with voice and speech are believed to be related to the motor and sensory deficits of the disease, but the neural mechanisms behind these problems are not well understood. 

Following an evaluation by an otolaryngologist (ears, nose and throat physician), a patient is referred to a LSVT® certified technician for an intensive, outpatient four-week course. Barbara Gross, M.A., CCC-SLP, speech-language pathologist, offers this service at the Baylor Grapevine Therapy Center. 

"We are pleased to bring this innovative voice treatment technique to Grapevine," Baylor Grapevine president Doug Lawson says. "Because communication is at the heart of which we all are, we want to help patients regain the ability to effectively talk to friends and loved ones." 

Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine is a 233-bed, full-service, fully-accredited not-for-profit hospital, serving residents in more than 20 cities throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The hospital offers advanced medical care for brain and spine conditions, cardiovascular care, intensive care, diagnostic imaging, women's services, neonatal intensive care, sleep disorders and emergency care. VHA, Inc. honored Baylor Grapevine with a 2007 leadership award for its care of patients with acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and heart failure. This award honors health care organizations that have differentiated themselves around national performance standards. Doug Lawson serves as president of Baylor Grapevine. For more information on rehabilitation services at Baylor Grapevine, please call 817-329-2524 or visit the Baylor Grapevine rehabilitation section

For fiscal year 2007, the faith-based Baylor Health Care System will report $390 million in community benefits to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Contact: Torrey L. McGraw, (817) 329-2857

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: