Movement Disorders/Parkinson’s

Main Speaker: Meg Morris (Australia)

Meg Morris is a physiotherapist and world expert in exercise, physical activities and dance for people living with Parkinson’s disease. She has over 360 publications and has led over 20 clinical trials on Parkinson’s and related conditions. Her current interests are power lifting, aquatherapy and dance for PD.

Moderator: Dr Bhanu Ramaswamy OBE

Bhanu is an Independent Physiotherapy Consultant based in Sheffield and an Honorary Visiting Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University.

Bhanu left her position as a Consultant Physiotherapist in the National Health Service (NHS) to follow an increasing desire for promoting the health of older people and those with Parkinson’s (Bhanu’s two fields of specialism). As part of this career direction, Bhanu now works across the health, the charitable and independent sectors in the UK to promote a holistic provision of physiotherapy so people can stay as well as possible.

Bhanu’s volunteer work with Parkinson’s UK for over 2 decades has positioned her for collaborative input in several national level projects in the UK with the charity and for the Department of Health; international projects work professional standard-setting; as co-author of chapters in academic books for health professionals and as an invited lecturer and workshop facilitator internationally.

GUIDELINES, ASSESSMENT AND OUTCOMES PANEL

Mariella Graziano (Luxembourg)

Mariella is the physiotherapy trainer at ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, member of the ParkinsonNet international network. She is one of the authors of the European Physiotherapy Guideline for Parkinson’s and is committed to implement research-based physiotherapy practice. Mariella runs her neurological practice at Esch-sur- Alzette. She is also past chair of the Movement Disorder INPA subgroup, and past President of the Association of Physiotherapists in Parkinson’s Disease Europe (2000-2018).

Becky Farley (USA)

Dr. Becky Farley received a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Arizona, a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Oklahoma. During her postdoc, she co-created the LSVT® BIG therapy program and completed the initial NIH research on its’ short-term benefits.
Dr. Farley has now pioneered a comprehensive PD-specific functional skill training framework that can be adapted for personal goals and level of disease severity. The framework begins by targeting fundamental motor control skills (i.e., PWR!Moves®). The deterioration of these skills interferes with all physical activity. Using part to whole practice, the PWR!Moves may be practiced in isolation in multiple positions, linked together into meaningful action sequences and progressed in complexity to mimic real-world physical and cognitive challenges. Research-informed methods of instruction and learning techniques designed to exploit goal-directed and habitual pathways allow for a multi-symptom motor-cognitive approach “connected to function.”
As the founder of PWR!, Dr. Farley launched the PWR! Gym in 2012 – a model community facility in Tucson, AZ to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing lifelong access to integrated rehabilitation, group exercise and wellness programming for PwP. Globally, Dr. Farley, along with other PWR! Faculty have trained over 7000 therapists and exercise professionals in the PWR!Moves curriculum. The goal is that they collaborate to provide a shared focus on “skilled exercise” to improve and sustain functional mobility and functional fitness.

Miriam Rafferty (USA)

Miriam is a Physical Therapist, Research Scientist, and the Director of Implementation Science at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, as well as an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Medical Social Sciences, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Science. She is an active physical therapist clinician specializing in neurologic physical therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Rafferty’s research focuses on health services delivery models for people with Parkinson’s disease, particularly proactive delivery models. She also uses implementation science methodology to study the implementation of evidence-based practices and novel technologies into real-world rehabilitation settings.

Tamine Capato (Brazil)

Board-certified neurological physiotherapy and movement disorders specialist. She completed her Ph.D. at University of São Paulo (Brazil 2020) and Radboud University (Netherlands 2022). Currently, she works as post-doc and clinical researcher at the Department of Neurology of both Universities. Coming from a strong clinical background as a physiotherapist and supervising students, her research focuses on identifying and developing new clinical assessments and multidisciplinary approaches to improve gait and postural instability in Parkinson’s disease and related Movement Disorders. Member of Executive Committee Member of International Neurological Physical Therapy Association (INPA) and Chair of Movement Disorder Special Group. Executive Committee Member of Pan American session International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (PAS-MDS), and Co-Chair of Women in Movement Disorders SIG (MDS). Member of Peer Review Group for Parkinson’s Disease to the Development of World Health Organization’s (WHO) Package of Interventions for Rehabilitation.

MANAGEMENT PANEL

Mary Wetani Agoriwo (Ghana)

Mary is Neuro-Physiotherapist (MSc. Neurorehabilitation, Brunel University London)

Assistant Lecturer, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana

PhD (Candidate), Stellenbosch University. She has a decade experience in clinical practice at the 37 Military and Korle Bu Teaching hospitals. She holds a BSc. in Physiotherapy from the University of Ghana and an MSc. in Neurorehabilitation from Brunel University London, UK. Mary is an assistant lecturer at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana and currently pursuing a PhD in Physiotherapy at the Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is a member of the Ghana Physiotherapy Association (GPA) Evidence-Based Practice Group, in-charge of Parkinson’s disease (PD) research output. She serves as a Co-Chair of the MDS-Africa Section Education Committee, coordinator of the Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Support Group Ghana and served as a Co-director for the MDS-Africa Section Train the Trainer Pilot Program in 2022-2023.  She has a number of peer reviewed publication to her credit and has presented numerous abstracts on national and international platforms including GPA, MDS and World Physiotherapy Congresses. Fellow of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and 2023 Mawazo Fellow. Her research interest lies in identifying factors that influence the quality of care, especially rehabilitation, for persons with PD and related conditions in Ghana and developing strategies to mitigate rehabilitation related problems.

Hanan Khalil (Qatar)

She is an Associate Professor of neurological rehabilitation at Qatar University, College of Health Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Doha, Qatar. Dr. Khalil is a researcher in the area of rehabilitation and exercise and related outcome measures in people with Long Term Neurological Conditions (LTNCs) namely multiple sclerosis (MS), dementia and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Further research interest includes cross-cultural adaptation and validation of outcome measures in Arabic language as well as motor learning and the impact of exercise on improving non-motor symptoms in these populations such as sleep, cognition an mood. More recently, Dr. Khalil is also involved in the area of mental health specifically in the area of trauma-informed care for traumatized individuals.

As part of her PhD degree at Cardiff University-UK and for the past 10 years, Dr. Khalil has been actively involved in these areas of research. She successfully obtained funding (as a principal investigator) and led clinical several studies (both observational and interventional) in people with neurological diseases and mental health issues. Dr. Khalil was a member of the International Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders society (MDS) task force for the Middle East and currently is a member of the MDS working group for the Middle East. Through this, Dr. Khalil led two multi-site projects for translating and validating standardised outcome measures in PD in Arabic language. She also led several MDS educational courses in the area of rehabilitation for people with neurological diseases for the allied health professions.  As a recognition of her research and scholarly activities, Dr. Khalil won the L’Oréal UNESCO for Women In Science Levant fellowship in 2018 and further she was selected for the TechWomen Emerging Leader Program award as well as for the International Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders’ Society (MDS) LEAP program for young leaders of 2019. Further, she was selected to participate in a number of WHO advisory committees in the area of brain health and neurodegeneration.

Fiona Lindop (UK)

Fiona is a specialist physiotherapist in Parkinson’s and Atypical Parkinson’s, working as a member of the specialist multidisciplinary team in the Derby Parkinson’s Centre of Excellence (UK). In addition to this Fiona is the Clinical Therapy Lead for the Parkinson’s UK Excellence Network, representing allied health professionals.  She developed a Parkinson’s-specific mobility scale (Lindop Parkinson’s Assessment Scale) She co-edited a book on the multidisciplinary management of Parkinson’s, which is a practical guide, which was published in November 2021. Fiona also is a member of the steering group for the UK national Parkinson’s Audit and the Lewy Body Dementia Society Scientific Advisory Committee. She was awarded an MBE for services to Physiotherapy in the 2024 Kings New Years Honours.

Kyohei Mikami (Japan)

Kyohei is a Certified physical therapist. Expect to receive M.A. Open University of Japan. B.A. (Education), Open University of Japan. A.A. (Rehabilitation), Iwate Rehabilitation College.Chief physical therapist, Department of Rehabilitation, Noborito Neurology Clinic. Department of Rehabilitation, Morioka Yuai Hospital.

Member of the Development Group for Parkinson’s Disease to the Development of World Health Organizations’s (WHO) Package of Interventions for Rehabilitation (PIR). Member of the SR Group for Neurological Intractable Diseases, 2nd edition of the Physical Therapy Guidelines in Japan.Done clinical research on motor symptoms in patient with Parkinson’s disease and has published papers.

Maarten Nijkrake (The Netherlands)

He is a physiotherapist and clinical researcher working for the Center of Expertise for Parkinson & Movement Disorders of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His interest is on gait, balance, posture and respiratory dysfunction in movement disorders and particularly Parkinson’s disease. Maarten defended his thesis about the efficacy of Parkinson physiotherapy networks (so called ParkinsonNet) in 2010. Currently, he still builds healthcare networks for ParkinsonNet International and participates in the INPA SIG for Movement Disorders, is board member of the Dutch Society for Geriatric Physiotherapy and is representative from the Netherlands within IPTOP.