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 

Niklas Löfgren, Postdoc

Emelie Butler Forslund, PhD student

Linda Rennie, PhD student

Conran Josef, Postdoc

Vivien Jörgensen, PhD

Breiffni Leavy, Postdoc

Emelie Karlsson, PhD student

Hanna Johansson, PhD student

Martina Bendt, PhD Student

Tobias Holmlund, PhD Student


Former members

David Conradsson, PhD 

Inka Löwenmark, PhD


Collaborators and partners

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

Karolinska Institutet (IMM, NVS, Clinical Neuroscience)

Karolinska University Hospital


McGill University

Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, TNO

Rehabstation Stockholm och Spinalis

Sunnaas Rehabiliteringssjukhus

University of Oslo

Uppsala University

Financial support

The Swedish research council


Vårdal stiftelsen

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

Parkinson research foundation


Selected scientific publications 

 Depressive symptoms associated with concerns about falling in Parkinson's disease.
Franzén E, Conradsson D, Hagströmer M, Nilsson M
Brain Behav 2016 10;6(10):e00524

Factors Associated With Recurrent Falls in Individuals With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: A Multicenter Study.
Jørgensen V, Butler Forslund E, Franzén E, Opheim A, Seiger , Ståhle A, et al
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2016 11;97(11):1908-1916

Concerns about falling in wheelchair users with spinal cord injury--validation of the Swedish version of the spinal cord injury falls concern scale.
Butler Forslund E, Roaldsen K, Hultling C, Wahman K, Franzén E
Spinal Cord 2016 Feb;54(2):115-9

The Effects of Highly Challenging Balance Training in Elderly With Parkinson's Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Conradsson D, Löfgren N, Nero H, Hagströmer M, Ståhle A, Lökk J, et al
Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2015 Oct;29(9):827-36

Translation and validation of the Swedish version of the mini-BESTest in subjects with Parkinson's disease or stroke: a pilot study.
Bergström M, Lenholm E, Franzén E
Physiother Theory Pract 2012 Oct;28(7):509-14

Motor control exercises reduces pain and disability in chronic and recurrent low back pain: a meta-analysis.
Byström M, Rasmussen-Barr E, Grooten W
Spine 2013 Mar;38(6):E350-8

Is highly challenging and progressive balance training feasible in older adults with Parkinson's disease?
Conradsson D, Löfgren N, Ståhle A, Franzén E
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2014 May;95(5):1000-3

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

Light and heavy touch reduces postural sway and modifies axial tone in Parkinson's disease.
Franzén E, Paquette C, Gurfinkel V, Horak F
Neurorehabil Neural Repair 2012 Oct;26(8):1007-14

Reduced performance in balance, walking and turning tasks is associated with increased neck tone in Parkinson's disease.
Franzén E, Paquette C, Gurfinkel V, Cordo P, Nutt J, Horak F
Exp. Neurol. 2009 Oct;219(2):430-8

Is active sitting as active as we think?
Grooten W, Conradsson D, Äng B, Franzén E
Ergonomics 2013 ;56(8):1304-14

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. 

Determinants for lumbopelvic pain 6 months postpartum.
Olsson C, Nilsson-Wikmar L, Grooten W
Disabil Rehabil 2012 ;34(5):416-22

Walking in circles: navigation deficits from Parkinson's disease but not from cerebellar ataxia.
Paquette C, Franzén E, Jones G, Horak F
Neuroscience 2011 Sep;190():177-83

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

Aspects of reliability and validity of the Swedish version of the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Scale for older people.
Rydwik E, Hovmöller F, Boström C
Physiother Theory Pract 2014 Feb;30(2):131-7

Effects of a physical and nutritional intervention program for frail elderly people over age 75. A randomized controlled pilot treatment trial.
Rydwik E, Lammes E, Frändin K, Akner G
Aging Clin Exp Res 2008 Apr;20(2):159-70

Is midlife occupational physical activity related to disability in old age? The SNAC-Kungsholmen study.
Rydwik E, Welmer A, Angleman S, Fratiglioni L, Wang H
PLoS ONE 2013 ;8(7):e70471

Adherence to physical exercise recommendations in people over 65--the SNAC-Kungsholmen study.
Rydwik E, Welmer A, Kåreholt I, Angleman S, Fratiglioni L, Wang H
Eur J Public Health 2013 Oct;23(5):799-804

Effects of weight-shift training on balance control and weight distribution in chronic stroke: a pilot study.
Tsaklis P, Grooten W, Franzén E
Top Stroke Rehabil ;19(1):23-31