Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

April 02, 2013

Parkinson's disease, named after Dr. James Parkinson in 1817, is a chronic, slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain.  Its symptoms include tremors, slowness of voluntary movements, difficulty in walking, and mood changes and memory lapses.  Conditions like these can cause challenges to not only the patient, but also to clinicians, family, and caregivers alike.

On Thursday, April 25, Karen Freshwater, PA-C with Bronson Neurology will talk at Burnham Brook Center about how to understand Parkinson’s disease.  Her one-hour presentation, which is free to the public, is sponsored through Senior Health Partners in coordination with Bronson Battle Creek (BBC).  A light lunch will be provided beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by her program at noon.  Seating is limited.  For reservations call toll free 1-877-462-2247.

Freshwater’s presentation will review the neurological clinical background of Parkinson's disease and how to best adapt to activities of daily living.

Diagnosis of the disease rests on the clinician's ability to recognize its signs and symptoms, especially in the early stages.  Since there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, therapy will be directed at minimizing the condition for as long as possible.  

This disease is most often seen after age 50, but it can occur in younger people.

In addition to Freshwater’s program, representatives from the BBC rehabilitation department and Lifespan will be on-hand before and after to talk about the services they offer in serving people diagnosed Parkinson’s disease.  They will focus on LVST BIG and LVST LOUD, two behavioral treatment programs for speech and body movement for those with Parkinson’s disease.

Physicians and clinical staff at Bronson Neuroscience Center—Battle Creek are specially trained to accurately and promptly diagnose many other neurological conditions using the latest technologies such as electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyography (EMG), electronystagmography (ENG), and evoked potentials (VEP, BAER, SSEP, TcMEP).  

BBC neurologists can now also order video electroencephalogram (vEEG) or use a new portable ambulatory EEG, which allows the patient to carry on their normal activities while recording brain function.  

For more information about the services available at the Bronson Neuroscience Center—Battle Creek, call (269) 245-5862.

Senior Health Partners, a community partnership of Bronson Battle Creek, CentraCare, Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, and Summit Pointe, works to expand wellness and educational offerings to senior citizens in Calhoun and surrounding counties.  

Bronson Battle Creek is a 218-bed hospital that provides full outpatient and inpatient acute care including robotic surgery, diagnostics, and rehabilitation services; 100% all private rooms.  It also offers world-class diagnostic capabilities including PET/CT imaging, freestanding ‘open’ and traditional MRI, CT (16- and 64-slice), and 3.0 Tesla MRI.  Bronson Battle Creek has been recognized nationally as one of the safest hospitals, and has been a leader in the development of electronic health records as evidenced by multiple honors as one of America’s ‘most wired’ and ‘most wireless’ hospitals. The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program, and the only hospital in Michigan to receive the CoC’s Outstanding Achievement Award three times in a row. Specialty services include inpatient behavioral health, the county’s largest accredited sleep center, and a wound-healing center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  For nine years, Bronson Healthcare has been included on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies list as a leading family friendly employer. 

About LVST
Progressive neurological diseases like Parkinson disease (PD) often impair speech, swallowing, limb function, gait, balance, and daily living activities. Even with advanced medical treatments, these deficits are difficult to control satisfactorily for most patients. Recent research documents the value of exercise for improving motor skills, and this program provides an opportunity to meet with therapists to learn how specific exercises can help improve mobility.

LSVT, which stands for Lee Silverman Voice Treatment are programs for individuals with PD.  One program focuses on the speech motor system (LSVT LOUD) and more recently have been extended to address limb motor systems (LSVT BIG).  These programs include the combination of an exclusive target on increasing loudness in the speech motor system; the other concentrates on bigger movements in the limb motor system—thus the names LOUD and BIG.


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