The Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing cutting edge rehabilitation to people living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In addition to directly providing rehabilitation to people with Parkinson’s Disease in the greater Cincinnati area, we also strive to increase access to this therapy nationwide, via scientific research. At the Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Institute we don’t treat Parkinson’s Disease, we treat PEOPLE with Parkinson’s Disease. Our goal is to assure that, in addition to improving the clinical symptoms of the disease, we improve the quality of our patients’ lives. We accomplish this goal by listening to our patients and developing a targeted rehabilitation plan that serves the unique needs of each individual. Our founder, Brian Terpstra, Ph.D., has the expertise to develop the rehabilitation strategies people living with Parkinson’s Disease need.
How Our Approach Differs From Traditional Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy is widely used to improve motor symptoms in PD; however, Medicare and insurance companies only cover a limited amount of PT per year, resulting in a short-term model of treatment for a lifelong, progressive neurodegenerative disease. While this payment model is appropriate for many orthopedic injuries, it is inadequate when applied to PD. In fact, Dr. Pellecchia and colleagues at the University of Naples have shown that, although 20 weeks of traditional physical therapy was effective in improving the motor symptoms of PD, this benefit was lost following three months of no therapy. Therefore, the expense of paying “out of pocket” ($200/hr) creates a cost barrier to PD patients receiving the long-term PT necessary to maintain functional gains during lapses in coverage.
In order to provide an affordable long-term rehabilitation to people with PD in the greater Cincinnati area, we have developed a model to provide continuous rehabilitation throughout the entire time course of the disease. High-intensity exercise designed to improve the symptoms of PD, has been shown to be superior to the low-intensity approach of PT. Our approach is very intense and very effective. We expect you to work and you should expect results! Since all people with PD do not display the symptoms of the disease equally and the prominence of each symptom varies over the course of the disease, we integrate the scientifically established modes of exercise based on the predominate symptom(s) of each patient to provide personalized rehabilitation. An additional benefit of exercise for PD is the increase of proteins in the brain that enhance learning and cognition. Since cognitive deficits limit the ability of exercise to improve gait and balance, patients perform motor and cognitive rehabilitation simultaneously to enhance the effects of both therapies.