Support Parkinson’s Disease Research

Parkinson's Disease research quote


Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder affecting 127,000 people in the UK. Research into approaches to slow down, stop or even reverse the progression of Parkinson’s has accelerated in recent years and there are many potentially pioneering research trials happening at North Bristol NHS Trust thanks to funding from Southmead Hospital Charity.

Our current Parkinson's research trials include: 


Dr Alan Whone

The Bristol Movement Neuroscience Group, based at the Bristol Brain Centre, at Southmead Hospital, is led by Dr Alan Whone, a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Movement Disorders Neurology at the University of Bristol and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Southmead Hospital. As well leading the regional Movement Disorders clinical service, Dr Whone has more than 15-years’ experience of research in the field. His research interests aim to address unmet symptom needs, to help people with Parkinson’s live better today, and develop new disease-slowing or disease-reversing therapies.


Dr Michal (Harry) Rolinski

Dr Rolinski is a National Institute of Health Research Academic Clinical Lecturer and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Neurology. Dr Rolinski’s research aims to develop tests that allow the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in its earliest stages, even before the core symptoms of slowness, stiffness or tremor emerge. Diagnosis at this stage, known as prodromal Parkinson’s, would allow treatments to start before too much irreversible damage has been done.


Collaborative working

The work of the team is supported by many national and international collaborators, including:

  • Professors Ian Craddock and Majid Mirmehdi from the University of Bristol who specialise in machine learning
  • Professors Chris Marshall, University of Cardiff, and Jon Sroessl, University of British Columbia, Canada, who specialise in PET imaging
  • Professor Walter Maetzler, Tubingen, Germany, who chairs the international taskforce for the use of technology in Movement Disorders.


The Jane Telling Fund

Thanks to a generous donation to Southmead Hospital Charity by the Jane Telling Fund, we can support research projects that make use of innovations in an advanced computer analysis method called machine learning – or Artificial Intelligence (AI) - to track changes in Parkinson’s over time which will allow clinicians to pick up very subtle abnormalities in movement that may suggest the earliest stages of Parkinson’s disease. It will also allow the way the disease progresses to be tracked and measured for their response to potential treatments. Developments made as part of this project will be directly transferable to other neurological disorders, such as stroke or dementia.

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising at Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “Dr Rolinski, his team and Southmead Hospital Charity would like to thank the Jane Telling Fund for supporting this research project into Parkinson’s disease.

“The crucial work that will be possible because of this donation will allow the team to perform preliminary experiments that will form the basis of a long-term research platform benefiting not only patients with Parkinson’s but also those with other neurological disorders.”

Give people with Parkinson's hope for the future. Donate today




Dance with Parkinson’s

We also fund Dance with Parkinson’s - weekly tailored dance sessions for people with Parkinson’s at Southmead Hospital. 

The sessions incorporate a range of movements and a combination of seated, standing or walking dances so that everyone can join in at a level that suits them. 

The sessions offer an opportunity to stretch and move to music, in a social space where participants can meet others with Parkinson's over a cup of tea.

Fresh Arts Programme Manager, Ruth Sidgwick, said: "Dance for Parkinson's helps with co-ordination, balance and stability, but is also about people coming into a group of people in exactly the same position as you and not having to explain why you can't do certain things and having a cup of tea together.

"The sessions are being led by a dance teacher who understands that members of the group have limitations but knows how to push physical movement.

"At a time when your life might be closing in on you these dance sessions show that you can still learn new skills and make new friends."

Find out more about Dance with Parkinson's.

Help us to continue to fund projects to support people with Parkinson's. Donate today. 


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