Understanding Parkinson’s and the Power of Intent

Lecture Description
Over 200 years ago, Dr. James Parkinson described the basic characteristics of what is now known as Parkinson’s disease. Amazingly, many of Dr. Parkinson’s observations are still applicable today. Watch this lecture to learn the basics of Parkinson’s: the history of its discovery, its primary symptoms, and how the condition is typically diagnosed. Elandary explains the role of dopamine as a neurotransmitter and how its depletion causes the disruption of automatic movements in Parkinson’s. Additionally, she teaches the audience how it is possible to recruit a different, more intact, motor pathway by using “intent,” a concept that not only improves one’s speech and communication, but can also help people with Parkinson’s live stronger, happier lives.

Learner Outcomes:
  • • List the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • • Describe how Parkinson’s is typically diagnosed.
  • • Describe dopamine’s role in automatic motor function.

Samantha Elandary, MA, CCC-SLP

Financial Relationship: Receives a salary as an employee of Parkinson Voice Project
Nonfinancial Relationship: Volunteer member of Parkinson Voice Project's Board of Directors

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Parkinson Voice Project, Samantha Elandary has dedicated her career to preserving the voices of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA in communication disorders and English and an MA in speech-language pathology. With over twenty years’ experience, she has developed a unique knowledge of Parkinson’s that she shares with patients, families, and healthcare professionals in understandable, practical terms.

Under Elandary’s leadership, Parkinson Voice Project developed a two-part therapy approach to help those with Parkinson’s preserve their speaking abilities: SPEAK OUT!® followed by The LOUD Crowd®. In 2008, she recommended to her Board of Directors that the organization stop billing insurance or Medicare and adopt the “Pay it Forward” concept instead. Since implementing this unique funding model, Parkinson Voice Project has conducted over 23,000 treatment sessions, expanded and renovated its 10,000sqft clinic, and has maintained its commitment to fiscal responsibility by remaining debt-free.