July 2012
Mercy offers speech therapy program for people with Parkinson Disease 

Soft voice…mumbled and/or monotone speech…hoarse voice. Almost every person with Parkinson Disease (PD) will experience speech problems like these that start early in the disease process and progressively diminish a person’s ability to communicate. Mercy Hospital now offers an effective speech treatment specially created to help improve the speech of PD patients.


Called LSVT®LOUD, this intensive speech therapy program consists of 16 individual treatments sessions held one hour per day, four days a week for one month.  The treatment program is offered by Mercy Speech Pathologist Jillian Leach, M.S. CCC-SLP, who received special training and certification in the program.


“This is a wonderful, effective program, with so much research behind it,” Leach said. “I’m excited to be able to offer this to our patients. It’s a really interesting, fun therapy.”


LSVT®LOUD improves both the voice and speech of individuals with PD. Treatment focuses on improving vocal loudness with immediate carryover into daily communication, enabling patients to maintain and/or improve their oral communication. Research on the program has demonstrated:

  • Improved vocal loudness
  • Improved speech intelligibility
  • More facial expression


While designed for patients with PD, Leach said the program may have broader applications, increasing speech functionality for others as well. Research is now underway testing the effectiveness of the program with people with Cerebral Palsy and Down’s Syndrome.


For more information about LSVT®LOUD or other speech therapy programs, call Mercy at 218.485.5626.


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