Parkinson's and older people

Dance for Parkinson’s at the University of Hertfordshire

We have carried out several studies in the hope of understanding more about whether dance can help people with Parkinson’s disease. For example, we have run studies exploring the effect of dance on a number of both physical and psychological outcome measures in this population.

A weekly dance class for people with Parkinson’s is offered at the University of Hertfordshire, supported by the West Herts branch of Parkinson’s UK. The class is led by Meryl Kiddier, a professional dance teacher who has designed the dance routines specifically for people with Parkinson’s.

Please contact us if you would like to come to a dance class, or to take part in our dance-related research.

Accelerometer measures of activity by people with Parkinson’s

Rebecca Hadley, PhD candidate, is using wrist-worn accelerometers to investigate movement by people with Parkinson’s as they engage in dance and other activities.

Music and movement in Parkinson’s

Dr Dawn Rose (now at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland), in collaboration with Professor Yvonne Delevove-Turrell and Lauren Ott at the University of Lille, France, has investigated using music as a cue to help people with Parkinson’s move following the rhythm of the beat.


A collaboration with Gillian Murphy, Wendy Forsyth (Danesbury Neurological Centre, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust) and David Wellsted aims to assess the benefits of the STABLE (Staying Active with Big Limb Exercises) programme for people with Parkinson’s.

Animal Models of Parkinson’s disease

A collaboration with Dr Mahmoud Iravani using animal models, (neurotoxic lesions of dopamine neurons using MPTP in mice and 6OHDA in rats), is investigating the neuroprotective properties of drugs that may have the potential to slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s research network and reading group

A new network is being set up focusing on research relevant to Parkinson’s. The ambition is to promote contact between people with Parkinson’s and researchers at the University of Hertfordshire.

Our Dance for Parkinson’s Advisory group that involves people with Parkinson’s in discussions about research plans is featured as a case study in the Parkinson’s UK guidance for researchers on Patient and Public Involvement.

A reading group provides an opportunity for non-researchers to engage in informed discussion about recent publications on Parkinson’s research topics.

Please email Dr Lucy Annett if you would like to find out more about the reading group and opportunities to participate in research studies.

Accessible Chair Yoga for older people living in care homes

In collaboration with Accessible Chair Yoga (a Community Interest Company based in Hertfordshire), we are evaluating the effectiveness of a seated yoga programme designed for older people living in care homes.

The project is part-funded by a KEEP+ award (Knowledge Exchange and Embedded Partnership, EU regional development fund).