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Learn How Exercise Can Slow Disabling Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

On Tuesday, April 9, at 10:30 a.m., Pardee Hospital's physical and speech/language therapists will explain how exercise and current therapies can keep disabling symptoms of Parkinson's disease at bay. Titled "Parkinson's Disease: Why We Need to Exercise," the program will be presented during the Brevard-Hendersonville Parkinson's Support Group meeting at the Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main Street in Brevard, N.C. All are invited to attend.

Lucy Butler, SLP, and Chloe Roderick, PT, experienced therapists from the Pardee Rehab & Wellness Center, will explain how exercise and individually tailored speech and movement therapy can prevent newly diagnosed patients from losing basic abilities, and may help others regain some of the mobility they've lost. The presentation will cover topics such as maintaining mobility, balance and fall prevention, speech volume, stuttering and swallowing. The presentation will include a demonstration of the center's brand-new Gait Lab, used to help patients stabilize and maintain an effective walking gait.

"Parkinson's is now a disease we can do everything about," says Roderick. "Patients without treatment can lose their movement pattern; it becomes laborious to get in and out of a car, walk 50 feet and get out of bed. Exercise therapy can evoke what we call neuroplasticity, allowing us to 'remap' the brain. This can keep those skills well ingrained so that those with Parkinson's do not lose health and mental function."

"Early intervention after a Parkinson's diagnosis slows down the progression of symptoms," adds Butler. "The No. 1 way to do that is with exercise. In seven years of providing LSVT speech therapy, for example, I've found that 100 percent of our patients improve their speech effectiveness."

The Pardee Rehab & Wellness Center is the only facility in Henderson County to provide both the LSVT LOUD therapy program for speech and the LSVT BIG therapy program for mobility. Each program has been proven to have dramatic, positive effects on Parkinson's symptoms. In addition, the center's new Gait Lab includes an assessment tool that provides quantifiable feedback on posture, step length, gait quality and speed, helping the center's therapists to identify specific areas to target in therapy. "A patient with Parkinson's may say, 'I don't know why I feel like I'm going to fall,'" explains Roderick. "Using the Gait Lab, we can provide the reason and prescribe the therapy."

Pardee Rehab & Wellness Center is the largest and most comprehensive facility of its kind in Henderson County. This facility offers fully integrated physical, occupational and speech therapy services to meet individualized needs. Services are performed on an outpatient basis, and are provided by licensed physical and occupational therapists along with speech/language pathologists. The facility offers a fully equipped and professionally supervised gym, which is open to the public and therapy graduates. Pardee Rehab & Wellness is dedicated to helping patients prevent and overcome injury or disability so they can enjoy a mobile, satisfying life. The Pardee Rehab & Wellness Center is also home to Cardiac Rehab, Pulmonary Rehab and Diabetes Education.

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