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Using Speech Therapy to Treat Parkinson's Disease

Posted by Brian Spence on May 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Parkinsons, Dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinsons DiseaseIn the early 1800's, James Parkinson wrote a now well-known manuscript titled, “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy.” Despite its discovery made more than 200 years ago, Parkinson’s disease (PD) has only recently become more commonly identified. The increased awareness of this debilitating disease is largely due to celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox and Billy Graham, all who have developed symptoms of and linked familiar faces to the disorder.

Perhaps the mostly widely recognized symptom of Parkinsons is an arm or hand tremor while at rest. This, however, is only one of many symptoms.  

Other symptoms include balancing difficulties, a shuffling walk, and depression. A relatively unknown development of PD involves the patient’s speech. In many cases, the volume of a PD sufferer’s speech can become quieter over time, unbeknownst to the patient.

As Dr. Michael S. Okun, M.D., from the National Parkinson Foundation explains, effective speech therapy can be important in the management of PD symptoms. This form of treatment can increase the volume of the patient’s voice. By addressing this need, such therapy can also enhance the individual’s ability to communicate with others and thereby increase self-esteem.  The specialization of speech therapy - especially under these circumstances - enables the therapist to have a very rewarding career.

Are you a speech therapist looking for the perfect position? Join our Talent Network to be updated continuously on current opportunities.  If you are an employer searching for talented staff with this specialty, you've come to the right place.


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