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Parkinson's Patients Go Big To Fight 'The Great Shrinking Disease'

The LSVT BIG program at Northern Westchester Hospital is helping patients like Allen address the damaging impact of Parkinson's disease, and allowing them to enjoy everyday life.
The LSVT BIG program at Northern Westchester Hospital is helping patients like Allen address the damaging impact of Parkinson's disease, and allowing them to enjoy everyday life. Video Credit: Northern Westchester Hospital

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- For many Parkinson's disease patients, the first signs of development are subtle: a slight tremor or a small twitch in the extremities. However, as the neurological disorder progresses, maintaining a normal lifestyle while combating "the great shrinking disease" can be challenging.

"Your voice gets smaller, your handwriting gets smaller and your movements get smaller," said Allen, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's a year and a half ago. To fight the physical challenges associated with the nervous system breakdown, patients like Allen are embracing the LSVT BIG Program, an innovative workout regimen. "To counteract the shrinking that goes on in Parkinson's, you amplify your movements," Allen explained.

Available through Northern Westchester Hospital's Rehabilitation Services at Chappaqua Crossing, LSVT helps delay the physical effects of Parkinson’s through mental and physical stimulation. In order to ensure patients remain in control of their bodies, LSVT constantly re-trains the brain to amplify movements, keeping patients from regressing. In a standard workout session, participants practice stretching, swinging their arms, taking large steps and re-teaching their minds and bodies through exaggerated motion.

In Allen's case, as with many others, the results have been incredible. "LSVT builds confidence that you actually can move in ways that you didn't think you could anymore," he said. "If I didn’t remember the exercises, I’d shrink back into the disease."

Learn about LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD for Parkinson's Disease at Northern Westchester Hospital Rehabilitation at Chappaqua Crossing.

Daily Voice produced this article as part of a paid Content Partnership with our advertiser, Northern Westchester Hospital

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