A randomised controlled trial to reduce the risk of falling in people with Parkinson’s disease


Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and The University of New South Wales are seeking research volunteers to help us learn about reactive and volitional step training to reduce falls among people with Parkinson’s disease.

Would the research project be a good fit for me?

The study might be a good fit for you if:

  • Have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (mild to moderate stage of the disease)
  • Aged 40 years or older
  • Living independently in the community or retirement village
  • Able to communicate in English language
  • Do not have a diagnosis of other neurological and/or cognitive impairments, atypical Parkinsonism
  • No recent history (< 6months) of deep-brain stimulation surgery
  • Able to walk 30 metres unassisted
  • Have had less than 20 falls in the past three months
  • Being stable on anti-Parkinson medications for >= 1 month


What would happen if I took part in the research project?

If you decide to take part you would:

  • Be invited to visit NeuRA to assess your physical functions, clinical status, reactive stepping and brain functioning (non-invasively) (option to have some of the assessments conducted in your home); these assessments will be repeated after 3 months and you will receive summary results of these assessments
  • Be randomly allocated to one of two groups: one group will undertake 3 months of training, including a volitional step training program in your home plus 2 sessions of reactive step training at NeuRA. The other group will continue with their usual activities for 3 months.

Will I be paid to take part in the research project?

You may be reimbursed for any reasonable travel costs associated with the research project visit/s.


If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study please contact

Contact person: Paulo Pelicioni
Phone: 02 9399 1024

HREC Approval Number: 180129

Volitional step training at home

Reactive step training at NeuRA


See what’s going on at NeuRA


Brain and Knee Muscle Weakness Study

Why Does Quadriceps Weakness Persist after Total Knee Replacement? An Exploration of Neurophysiological Mechanisms Total knee replacement is a commonly performed surgery for treating end-staged knee osteoarthritis. Although most people recover well after surgery, weakness of the quadriceps muscles (the front thigh muscles) persists long after the surgery (at least for 12 months), despite intensive physiotherapy and exercise. Quadriceps muscle weakness is known to be associated with more severe pain and greatly affect daily activities. This study aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying weakness of the quadriceps muscles in people with knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement. We hope to better understand the relationship between the changes of the brain and a loss of quadriceps muscle strength after total knee replacement. The study might be a good fit for you if you: Scheduled to undergo a total knee replacement; The surgery is scheduled within the next 4 weeks; Do not have a previous knee joint replacement in the same knee; Do not have high tibial osteotomy; Do not have neurological disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric conditions, other chronic pain conditions; Do not have metal implants in the skull; Do not have a loss of sensation in the limbs. If you decide to take part you would: Be contacted by the researcher to determine your eligibility for the study Be scheduled for testing if you are eligible and willing to take part in the study Sign the Consent Form when you attend the first testing session Attend 3 testing sessions (approximately 2 hours per session): 1) before total knee replacement, 2) 3 months and 3) 6 months after total knee replacement. The testing will include several non-invasive measures of brain representations of the quadriceps muscles, central pain mechanisms, and motor function and questionnaires. Will I be paid to take part in the research study? You will be reimbursed ($50.00 per session) for travel and parking expenses associated with the research study visits. If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study, please contact: Name: Dr Wei-Ju Chang Email: Phone: 02 9399 1260 This research is being funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation.