Good Samaritan marking Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and Good Samaritan is working to help patients affected with this disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, Parkinson’s is very diverse. It affects around one million people in the United States and 10 million people worldwide.

There is no standard treatment for Parkinson’s and while the disease itself is not fatal, complications can be serious. Treatment for each person with the disease is based on a person’s individual symptoms. There are many medications available used to help treat Parkinson’s; however, physical and occupational therapy have a huge impact on Parkinson’s patients to help them keep moving.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) involves the concept of neuroplasticity, the brains ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. The approach aims to address the “internal” aspects of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, leading to significant functional improvements.

LSVT treatment consists of 16 sessions (four days a week for four weeks), individual one-hour sessions, daily homework practice, and daily carryover exercises. There are two types of LSVT therapies offered at Good Samaritan, LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD. LSVT is a standardized treatment protocol customized to the unique goals of each patient including both gross and fine motor skills. LSVT BIG helps patients use their body more normally. LSVT LOUD is a speech treatment established for treating voice and speech disorders in Parkinson’s patients.

Patients and families who are interested in LSVT therapy and would like more information can contact Good Samaritan Physical Medicine Department by calling 812-885-3011. Additional information about other therapies and services offered can be found by going online to gshvin.org.

Second Sunday Nature Walk to focus on birds

A nature exploration walk, one focused on native birds, will step off from Ouabache Trails Park at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

This walk is appropriate for all ages as well as novices and experienced birders.

Local expert birders Gary and Lisa Bowman will be leading visitors to the park on a walk to look for birds, instructing how to spot various species along the way.

Checklists of various bird species common in the park will be provided. Bring binoculars and bird guides if possible. Some guides, too, will be available for use.

Those interested should meet local Master Naturalist Terri Talarek King and the Bowmans in the lower loop of the park, near the start of the River Fishing Trail (Trail 8 on the park map).

Everyone is welcome. There is no fee or registration required.

For questions or information, email leapingfrog55@yahoo.com, or leave a voice message at 812-881-8987.

Masks and social distancing are strongly recommended.

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