A university academic has been awarded a £250,000 fellowship for her pioneering work revolutionising care for people with Parkinson’s.
Senior physiotherapy lecturer Julie Jones has spent years looking at how exercise can ease the symptoms for people with the long-term neurological condition.
For the next three years, she will trade teaching at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen to study a PhD.
As part of her work she will train physiotherapists and exercise coaches in strategies to help people with Parkinson’s.
She will also work with a number of people with the condition benefitting from these strategies to track their progress.
If successful, it is thought it could lead to the NHS encouraging patients add exercise to their daily routines.
Ms Jones said: “There is much evidence that engaging in regular exercise has numerous benefits for Parkinson’s management – not solely as complementary to medication, but of equal importance.
“Exercise is clearly beneficial from a physical perspective, but there is a growing consensus that is leads to physiological changes within the brain that may have a disease modifying effect.”
The fellowship has been awarded by the Scottish Government’s chief scientist office and charity Parkinson’s UK, and the work will be carried out in partnership with Aberdeen and Newcastle universities as well as NHS Grampian.
Professor David Crossman, the Scottish Government’s chief scientist for health, said: “I’m confident that the outputs of this work have the potential to have a real and positive impact on the lives of those living with Parkinson’s.”
And Annie Macleod, director of Parkinson’s UK Scotland, said: “We are incredibly fortunate that Julie, who is such a renowned expert in her field and a well-kent face in the Parkinson’s community, is taking on this vital work.”