Parkinson’s Disease (PD) presents with a myriad symptoms, including slowed movements, rigidity and tremor that affects the way a person stands and walks. The movement changes also affect the use of hands as in writing, the eyes, and facial movements changing ability to eat and talk. There are other non-motor symptoms which may include changes in the way a person can think and manage multiple tasks, experiencing anxiety and depression, sleep difficulties, and change of smell. Dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions that cause repetitive or twisting movements) may be present as part of the PD or secondary to the medication.
PD is a slow progressive disorder. The neurological progression has been proven to be slowed with medication, and more recently reversal of symptoms with exercise and light therapy (laser or PBM) is an emerging area of treatment.
At Neurospace we have a large selection of therapy options based on the stage of your Parkinson’s, your goals and the amount of time you have to invest in your exercise.
We have a great understanding of the motor, autonomic, psychological and emotional factors associated with PD, and the secondary biomechanical changes and muscle weakness.
Your initial assessment will help you and your therapist understand your movement changes. We will help to quantify impairments, activities such as walking and balance and use standardized PD scales to track your progress. We will then discuss the therapy options and expected outcomes.
Our team are fortunate to be trained in a number of evidence based treatment approaches, as well as developing our own PD45 program based on the needs of our very active PD clients. Each program works the whole body and mind in different ways.
Physical movement training (Physiotherapy and/or exercise physiology)
LSVT® BIG aims to address bradykinesia and hypokinesia with AMPLITUDE as a single focus. It has high intensity, high effort, and task-specific exercises that initiate neuroplasticity, that helps treat the sensory impairment that is part of underestimating movement size. This is a specific 4 week program. The research shows the person will walk faster and with bigger steps, have improved balance and trunk rotation, improved movement perception and self-cueing, and can have up to 2 year carryover of increased amplitude use.
PD60 and PD45
PD60 and PD 45 are rehab programs designed by us specifically for people with Parkinson’s
Do you feel you’re getting enough targeted exercise? We know exercise is helpful at slowing the progression of Parkinsons Disease and our PD45 exercise group is directed at newly diagnosed clients who only experience minor symptoms. It is a high intensity class that focuses on the symptoms of lack of arm swing, reduced stamina, stiffness and slowness, reduced dexterity as well as reduced aerobic fitness. We know aerobic exercise promotes neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells, and has neuroprotective capacity. The class uses a lot of boxing, strength and balance work and is a great way to meet other motivated people with PD. We limit this class to 8 people.
Our other Parkinson’s exercise class is more suited to people with movement difficulties. It is a circuit-based class that focuses on the amplitude of movement, encompassing functional exercises that focus on the quality and size of your movements as well as resistance and cardio training. We can adapt the exercises to suit your current level, and you will be encouraged to work as hard as you can. The higher the intensity, the better your movements will be! We limit this class to 4 people only, so you can get the support and assistance you need to achieve great quality movements.
Speaking , swallowing and eating will be the specific focus of the assessment and treatment with the speech pathologist. Problem solving for sitting posture and chairs maybe addressed concurrently with the physio or occupational therapist to help with swallowing issues.
If assistance is required to assess and ensure the home and work environment are optimized to allow a person to stay safe and active to the best of their abilities. This may include modifications in the bathroom, kitchen and for house access.
Light therapy has been shown in the experimental stages to have both a protective and repairing mechanism for the neurons. We have been exploring the use of 808nM laser and 660nM LED light to assist function and are happy to discuss this with you. Our preliminary work supports the laser for reducing the muscle tone and improving walking abilities.