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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2023

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SPEECH PATHOLOGY NURSING LET’S GET LOUD WATER, LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING! – PART 3 GEORGINA HETT MSWA SENIOR SPEECH PATHOLOGIST ROCHELLE BROWN MSWA NEUROLOGICAL LIAISON NURSE GEMMA TOOVEY MSWA DIETITIAN Reduced speaking volume can be associated with a number of different For the third instalment of this series, we look at water's impact on your brain, mood and weight. neurological conditions. Having a quiet voice is often attributed to limitations in breath support, such as having shallower, weaker or less coordinated breathing. However, alongside our breath, our brain and larynx (which houses our vocal cords) can also play an Drinking water improves your mood Research has shown that by improving someone’s water intake, their feelings of happiness increase. Further to this, when participants consumed five or more cups of water each day, their risk of anxiety decreased. To be in your best mental state, you need to look after your health and wellbeing, and that includes staying hydrated. important part in creating and maintaining a stronger and more consistent speaking volume. Staying hydrated keeps your brain in good working order If you want to be at the top of your cognitive game, you Therapy techniques, such as the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) can also be helpful. Additionally, when receiving feedback to ‘speak up’, people can feel as though they are shouting or Content and topics are designed to be relevant to the individual’s interests and daily life, making the need your brain to be hydrated. ‘Cognition’ is a term we use to describe the mental processes we use to learn, understand, remember, plan and problem solve. LSVT LOUD primarily targets being too loud. activities more motivating. If you fail to drink enough water, you will find your thinking reduced speaking volume and was designed with people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in mind. LSVT LOUD is a structured protocol of exercises that help people ‘recalibrate’ their voices, so they Outside of research within the Parkinson’s disease community, there are a number of smaller becomes ‘fuzzy’, and you won’t be able to focus, recall information, remember things or be able to solve problems. People living with Parkinson’s often find they experience a shift toward a quieter voice. This is among other communication changes that may include a hoarse/breathy vocal quality (due to changes within the larynx), mumbled speech and a less expressive, more monotone voice. These factors combined can negatively impact the effectiveness of a person’s communication and how they feel about speaking with others. Importantly, Parkinson’s can also create difficulty in accurately judging the loudness of one’s own speaking voice. People may feel they are speaking at the same volume as others, but in reality are much quieter. can practice and be better aware of how it feels to comfortably speak using a stronger voice, that is more in line with others in the conversation. The LSVT LOUD protocol is standardised and well-supported by research. Initial treatment requires 16 sessions with a speech pathologist (in person or via telehealth) delivered over four weeks and requires a degree of home practice (approx 15 mins daily). This structure takes advantage of high intensity, high frequency practice, to bring about measurable change. A series of core voice exercises are undertaken each session, accompanied by other tasks that practice short phrases, all the way studies involving people living with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), stroke and multiple sclerosis. These findings are a positive new direction for research into LSVT LOUD. MSWA Speech Pathology has a number of clinicians certified in delivering LSVT LOUD treatment. Please feel free to contact MSWA Speech Pathology or 9365 4888 if you wish to know more about this treatment and how it could help you. For more information on our services, visit Drinking water helps maintain a healthy weight. Let’s look into some scenarios where water intake can help with this goal: 1. You may be confusing hunger for thirst Although it sounds simple, a lot of people get this confused. Next time you open the fridge to get a snack, take a moment to ask yourself “am I hungry or thirsty?” or “when was the last time I had a drink?”. If it was at least two hours since your last drink, try having a glass of water first, wait 15 minutes and check in again to see how you feel. If the sensation of hunger is still there, you must be hungry! 2. Your fluids are mainly sugar-sweetened/milk-based drinks Switching to water will automatically reduce the number of calories you consume each day. If continued long term, this will result in weight loss. If you don’t like the taste of water, our MSWA Dietitian Gemma provided some great ways to meet your fluid needs with tasty additions in our last Bulletin. 3. If you are drinking adequate amounts of water, you will have more energy Water promotes blood circulation which helps oxygen enter your cells. If you are not drinking enough water, circulation will lag, and you will feel sluggish and tired. Meeting your fluid requirements can circulate oxygen, giving you a boost of energy. Having more energy means you are more likely to attend an exercise class or go for a walk, which will in turn support you to maintain a healthy weight. through to conversational speech. In our next Bulletin we will be looking at the part water plays in relation to bladder health. 20 21