MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Helps Parkinson’s Patients Move More Freely Through Physical Therapy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 30, 2015 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) is launching a program for Parkinson’s patients called LSVT BIG/LOUD, to help patients with the disease improve both speech and movement.

January 30, 2015

Network launches LSVT BIG/LOUD program for Parkinson’s patients

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 30, 2015 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) is launching a program for Parkinson’s patients called LSVT BIG/LOUD, to help patients with the disease improve both speech and movement.

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), an exercise treatment program designed to help the brain learn and change and improve speech, is now offered four days a week with certified physical and occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists conducting this intensive therapy.

During therapy, patients are asked to practice a series of exercises to amplify the shuffling movements some people with Parkinson’s make – focusing on large, full range motion to retrain the brain. This is the BIG portion of therapy. “They also have to supplement their hour-long sessions with at-home exercises twice per day,” says Kristen Patterson, DPT, MedStar Health Physical Therapy. “It’s a commitment, but patients who stick with it see real improvement.”

The LOUD portion of therapy is focused on improving speech affected by the disease. “LOUD is a well-researched therapy that helps recalibrate the loudness of a person’s voice,” says Suzanne Redmond, SLP, MedStar Health Physical Therapy. “When Parkinson’s affects speech, it’s as if the person’s volume has been turned down.”

According to Redmond, patients will often use the same amount of effort to speak, but their voices are much softer and less clear. For four days a week over a month-long period, patients practice exercises that help them with the volume of their voice, endurance and breath support so they can produce a louder voice with clearer speech.

Exercises performed at home are also required for the LOUD therapy. Parkinson’s patients can do both therapies at once or separately.

Several MedStar Health Physical Therapy sites offer LSVT BIG/LOUD including: Ballston (Arlington), VA; McLean, VA; Irving Street-D.C.; Olney & Montrose in Montgomery County, MD; Leisure World in Silver Spring, MD; and Bel Air, MD.

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About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 40 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar NRH is consistently ranked by physicians in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s “Best Hospitals” for Rehabilitation, and is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar NRH and to find a location near you, log on to

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]