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  

Senior lecturer/physcial therapist

Erika Franzén

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 888 78
Organizational unit: Sektionen för fysioterapi

Group members

Elisabeth Rydwik, Associate professor

Lena Nilsson Wikmar, Professor

Kirsti Skavberg-Roaldsen, Associate professor

Martin Benka Wallén, PhD

Niklas Löfgren, Postdoc

Emelie Butler Forslund, PhD 

Linda Rennie, PhD student

Conran Joseph, Postdoc

Breiffni Leavy, Postdoc

Emelie Karlsson, PhD student

Hanna Johansson, PhD student

Martina Bendt, PhD Student

Tobias Holmlund, PhD Student

Malin Freidle, PhD Student

Andreas Wallin, PhD Student

Petra Koski, research assistant

Former members

David Conradsson, PhD 

Inka Löwenmark, PhD

Vivien Jörgensen, PhD

Håkan Nero, PhD

Caroline Forsell, Postdoc

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

Oslo Metropolitan University

Uppsala University

South General Hospital, Stockholm

Ersta Hospital, Stockholm

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

Falls and fear of falling predict future falls and related injuries in ambulatory individuals with spinal cord injury: a longitudinal observational study.
Jørgensen V, Butler Forslund E, Opheim A, Franzén E, Wahman K, Hultling C, et al
J Physiother 2017 Apr;63(2):108-113

Monitoring training activity during gait-related balance exercise in individuals with Parkinson's disease: a proof-of-concept-study.
Conradsson D, Nero H, Löfgren N, Hagströmer M, Franzén E
BMC Neurol 2017 Jan;17(1):19

High incidence of falls and fall-related injuries in wheelchair users with spinal cord injury: A prospective study of risk indicators.
Forslund E, Jørgensen V, Franzén E, Opheim A, Seiger , Ståhle A, et al
J Rehabil Med 2017 Jan;49(2):144-151

Pre- and unplanned walking turns in Parkinson's disease - Effects of dopaminergic medication.
Conradsson D, Paquette C, Lökk J, Franzén E
Neuroscience 2017 01;341():18-26

Objectively Assessed Physical Activity and its Association with Balance, Physical Function and Dyskinesia in Parkinson's Disease.
Nero H, Benka Wallén M, Franzén E, Conradsson D, Ståhle A, Hagströmer M
J Parkinsons Dis 2016 10;6(4):833-840

"Pushing the Limits": Rethinking Motor and Cognitive Resources After a Highly Challenging Balance Training Program for Parkinson Disease.
Leavy B, Roaldsen K, Nylund K, Hagströmer M, Franzén E
Phys Ther 2017 01;97(1):81-89

Investigating the Mini-BESTest's construct validity in elderly with Parkinson's disease.
Löfgren N, Benka Wallén M, Sorjonen K, Conradsson D, Franzén E
Acta Neurol. Scand. 2017 Jun;135(6):614-621

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

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

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

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

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. 

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