HEALTHCARE Informative Parkinson’s Diagnosis & Treatment

Parkinson’s Diagnosis & Treatment

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Think BIG!  Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH) now offers the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) BIG program for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The program is based on the most effective, evidence-based strategies for learning and neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change). LSVT BIG is an intensive treatment customized to help individuals with PD and other neurological conditions, address activities of daily living through all stages of disease progression.

LSVT BIG can help provide more confident steps, improved balance and torso movement, and reduction of fall risk. Consisting of 16 individual 1-hour sessions with an LSVT BIG certified occupational therapist, patients spend four consecutive days per week in therapy for a period of four weeks. Each patient is provided personalized daily tasks to accelerate training progress in functional skills. Continued practice of LSVT BIG exercises is needed several times per week with follow up therapy sessions scheduled on a case-by-case basis.

Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year. Many individuals may be experiencing symptoms such as slowed movement, rigid muscles, impaired posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, speech or writing changes, yet are unsure if those symptoms stem from Parkinson’s disease.  In addition to Parkinson’s treatment, individuals and loved ones living with uncertainty can find diagnostic testing for PD at Wickenburg Community Hospital. The synergy created between diagnosis, therapy, and care planning helps ensure the right treatment can begin quickly.

Diagnostic testing for PD takes place in the Nuclear Medicine department at WCH with a specialized test called a DaTscan. A neuro-imaging test approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011, DaTscan utilizes the radiopharmaceutical drug Ioflupane (123I) to assist in evaluating patients with suspected Parkinson’s Disease. In addition, DaTscan can help differentiate between a diagnosis of PD over other disorders presenting with similar symptoms.

Wickenburg Community Hospital has been performing DaTscan for about two years. It has been a fantastic tool in the diagnosis of patients with Parkinson’s and those with non-essential tremors.  It is a test that not all imaging facilities perform, and WCH is one of the first in Arizona’s rural healthcare market to have this capability.

Though it is never too late to improve body function, like many other progressive diseases, diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s early has been shown to improve PD patients’ quality of life significantly.  Whether you or a loved one have already been diagnosed or are among the many living in uncertainty, Wickenburg Community Hospital’s multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis, treatment, and care planning ensures individuals get the care they need no matter where they are in the PD journey.

“To engage in this program, contact your provider and request a referral to Occupational Therapy for LSVT BIG. Early treatment will enhance your therapy outcomes. Wishing you the best in health.

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