Movement and Parkinson’s Disease

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.


Staying Active with Big Limb Exercises.

A collaboration with Gillian Murphy, Wendy Forsyth (Danesbury Neurological Centre, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust) and David Wellsted on Staying Active with Big Limb Exercises for people with Parkinson’s.

Animal Models of Parkinson’s disease

A collaboration with Mahmoud Iravani using animal models (neurotoxic lesions of dopamine neurons using MPTP in mice and 6OHDA in rats).

Parkinson’s Research Network

A new network meeting is being set up. The ambition is to promote contact between researchers at Herts interested in Parkinson’s and people with Parkinson’s.

Research Advisory Group

We are currently putting together a three-year research program into dance for Parkinson’s. We have put together a research advisory group, working with professionals from a variety of domains, such as people with Parkinson’s disease, academics, medical professionals, and physiotherapists to inform our research. See our Psychology Dance for Parkinson’s research advisory information sheet.

Weekly dance classes

The University also offers a weekly Dance for Parkinson’s class for people with Parkinson’s and their family and carers.


The first paper to explore the effect of dance on mood in those with Parkinson’s was published in 2014, and others are currently in preparation.

Lewis, C., Annett, L. E., Davenport, S. H., Hall, A. A & Lovatt, P (2014) Mood changes following social dance sessions in people with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Health Psychology, 1359105314529681

Hall, A. A., Lewis, C., Davenport, S. H., Annett, L. E & Lovatt, P (in prep). Investigations into two forms of dance on functional mobility, problem solving and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease.

Get involved

Please contact us at to sign up and participate in our research or just find out more.