Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)
This intervention is an effective treatment for individuals who are suffering from Parkinson disease (PD) and other neurological conditions. Supported by the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and with nearly 20 years of research completed, this therapy option improves vocal loudness over 16 sessions in one month of usually one hour sessions 4 times per week. It is most effective for early or middle stage Parkinson Disease patients.
LSVT is the most researched treatment in the Speech-Language Pathology profession. When Parkinson disease progresses, it robs the person of the ability to self-monitor how loud he or she is speaking. Movements become smaller, but the person continues to think that vocal volume is normal. LSVT works to increase the loudness level in the patient and make that the new normal. Often times the patient feels as though he or she is shouting at first, but to others it is a normal vocal intensity.
It is sometimes an appropriate therapy option for any kind of hypofunction, such as vocal fold bowing or atrophy. Special care is taken during this type of therapy to make sure the patient doesn't develop hyperfunction or excess glottic tension following intervention.
Clinicians must be certified in LSVT LOUD to provide this treatment.