Franzén group

Research focus

Focus is on translational research from exploring neuronal mechanisms to clinical interventions/implementation in the field of neurological and geriatric rehabilitation. Our areas of special interest are balance control, exercise, physical activity and falls in elderly, individuals with Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury.

Research projects or activities include the following:

Group leader  

Erika Franzén, Associate professor, PT.

08-524 88878

Group members

Elisabeth Rydwik, Associate Professor

Wim Grooten, Associate Professor 

Lena Nilsson Wikmar, Professor

Kirsti Skavberg-Roaldsen, PhD 

Martin Benka Wallén, Postdoc 

David Conradsson, PhD 

Niklas Löfgren, PhD student

Emelie Butler Forslund, PhD student

Linda Rennie, PhD student

Conran Josef, PhD student

Vivien Jörgensen, PhD student

Håkan Nero, PhD student 

Sara Cederbom, PhD

Inka Löwenmark, PhD student

Kamilla Nylund, Project Coordinator

Breiffni Leavy, Postdoc

Emelie Karlsson, PhD student


Collaborators and partners

European Network for Action on Aging and Physical Activity (EUNAAPA)

Karolinska Institutet (IMM, NVS)

Karolinska University Hospital


Mayo Clinic

McGill University

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, TNO

Rehabstation Stockholm och Spinalis

Sunnaas Rehabiliteringssjukhus

University of Oslo

Uppsala University

Financial support

AFA Insurance

Erasmus Action 2 for South Africa (European Commission)

EU- operating grants


National School in Health Care Sciences

NEURO Sweden


Stockholm County Council research funds

StratNeuro, Karolinska Institutet

Swedish Parkinson foundation

The Swedish research council

Selected scientific publications 

Bergström, M., Lenholm, E., & Franzén, E. (2012). Translation and validation of the Swedish version of the mini-BESTest in subjects with Parkinson's disease or stroke: a pilot study. Physiother Theory Pract, 28(7), 509-514. doi: 10.3109/09593985.2011.653707

Byström, M. G., Rasmussen-Barr, E., & Grooten, W. J. (2013). Motor control exercises reduces pain and disability in chronic and recurrent low back pain: a meta-analysis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 38(6), E350-358. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31828435fb

Conradsson, D., Löfgren, N., Ståhle, A., & Franzén, E. (2013). Is Highly Challenging and Progressive Balance Training Feasible in Older Adults With Parkinson's Disease? Arch Phys Med Rehabil. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.10.024

Conradsson, D., Löfgren, N., Ståhle, A., Hagströmer, M., & Franzén, E. (2012). A novel conceptual framework for balance training in Parkinson's disease-study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Neurol, 12, 111. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-12-111

Franzén, E., Paquette, C., Gurfinkel, V., & Horak, F. (2012). Light and heavy touch reduces postural sway and modifies axial tone in Parkinson's disease. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 26(8), 1007-1014. doi: 10.1177/1545968312437942

Franzén, E., Paquette, C., Gurfinkel, V. S., Cordo, P. J., Nutt, J. G., & Horak, F. B. (2009). Reduced performance in balance, walking and turning tasks is associated with increased neck tone in Parkinson's disease. Exp Neurol, 219(2), 430-438. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.06.013

Grooten, W. J., Conradsson, D., Äng, B. O., & Franzén, E. (2013). Is active sitting as active as we think? Ergonomics, 56(8), 1304-1314. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2013.812748

Joseph, C., Mji, G., Mlenzana, N., De Wet, C., Statham, S., & Rhoda, A. (2013). Changes in activity limitations and predictors of functional outcome of patients with spinal cord injury following in-patient rehabilitation. South African Journal of Physiotherapy, 69(1), 47-53.

Olsson, C. B., Grooten, W. J., Nilsson-Wikmar, L., Harms-Ringdahl, K., & Lundberg, M. (2012). Catastrophizing during and after pregnancy: associations with lumbopelvic pain and postpartum physical ability. Phys Ther, 92(1), 49-57. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20100293

Olsson, C. B., Nilsson-Wikmar, L., & Grooten, W. J. (2012). Determinants for lumbopelvic pain 6 months postpartum. Disabil Rehabil, 34(5), 416-422. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.607212

Paquette, C., Franzén, E., Jones, G. M., & Horak, F. B. (2011). Walking in circles: navigation deficits from Parkinson's disease but not from cerebellar ataxia. Neuroscience, 190, 177-183. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.06.020

Rydwik, E., Frändin, K., & Akner, G. (2004). Effects of physical training on physical performance in institutionalised elderly patients (70+) with multiple diagnoses. Age Ageing, 33(1), 13-23.

Rydwik, E., Hovmoller, F., & Boström, C. (2014). Aspects of reliability and validity of the Swedish version of the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Scale for older people. Physiother Theory Pract, 30(2), 131-137. doi: 10.3109/09593985.2013.838614

Rydwik, E., Lammes, E., Frändin, K., & Akner, G. (2008). Effects of a physical and nutritional intervention program for frail elderly people over age 75. A randomized controlled pilot treatment trial. Aging Clin Exp Res, 20(2), 159-170.

Rydwik, E., Welmer, A. K., Angleman, S., Fratiglioni, L., & Wang, H. X. (2013). Is midlife occupational physical activity related to disability in old age? The SNAC-Kungsholmen study. PLoS One, 8(7), e70471. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070471

Rydwik, E., Welmer, A. K., Kareholt, I., Angleman, S., Fratiglioni, L., & Wang, H. X. (2013). Adherence to physical exercise recommendations in people over 65--the SNAC-Kungsholmen study. Eur J Public Health, 23(5), 799-804. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cks150

Tsaklis, P. V., Grooten, W. J., & Franzén, E. (2012). Effects of weight-shift training on balance control and weight distribution in chronic stroke: a pilot study. Top Stroke Rehabil, 19(1), 23-31. doi: 10.1310/tsr1901-23