Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control

Mobility and neurological diseases

valsimulator klein

Research of this group is performed in the Movement laboratories (including the Radboud Falls Simulator) at the Department of Rehabilitation. It aims to bridge the gap between basic and applied sciences in the field of balance, gait, and falls, with a primary focus on neurological patient groups (e.g. stroke, Parkinson's disease). The research line involves studies on:

- the mechanisms underlying balance and gait control in health and disease

- the development and evaluation of interventions to improve balance and gait and to prevent falls

- the implementation of these interventions in clinical practice

In our mechanistic studies, we combine various neurophysiological and biomechanical techniques, including surface electromyography, electro-encephalograpy, 3D full-body motion analysis and force measurement. Our intervention studies typically involve innovative rehabilitation technology for exercise training or for delivering (non-) invasive neural stimulation. The ultimate goal is to design tailored and individualized rehabilitation treatment for improving independent and safe mobility in people with neurological diseases.

Key grants and prizes:

  • Netherlands Organisation of Scientic Research (NWO) Vidi grant ‘Roads to Recovery’ to Dr. Vivian Weerdesteyn (2017).
  • Best European PhD thesis in Rehabilitation and best Dutch thesis in Movement Science, awarded to Dr. Jorik Nonnekes (‘Balance and gait in neurodegenerative disease. What startles tell us about motor control’, 2016).
  • The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW) IMDI grant ‘Move On’ (€ 1.000,000) (2014).
  • Netherlands Organisation of Scientic Research (NWO) Veni grant ‘Why stroke patients fall’ (€ 250,000) to Dr. Vivian Weerdesteyn (2010).

Key publications:

  1. Solis-Escalante T, van der Cruijsen J, de Kam D, van Kordelaar J, Weerdesteyn V, Schouten AC (2018). Cortical dynamics during preparation and execution of reactive balance responses with distinct postural demands. Neuroimage, 188:557-571.
  2. De Kam D, Roelofs JMB, Bruijnes AKBD, Geurts ACH, Weerdesteyn V (2017). The Next Step in Understanding Impaired Reactive Balance Control in People With Stroke: The Role of Defective Early Automatic Postural Responses. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 31(8):708-716.
  3. Van Duijnhoven HJR, Heeren A, Peters MAM, Veerbeek JM, Kwakkel G, Geurts ACH, Weerdesteyn V (2016).The effects of exercise therapy on balance capacity in chronic stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis. Stroke, 47(10):2603-10.
  4. Nonnekes J, Carpenter MG, Inglis JT, Duysens J, Weerdesteyn V (2015). What startles tell us about control of posture and gait. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 53:131-8.
  5. Nonnekes J, Oude Nijhuis L, De Niet M, De Bot S, Pasman J, Van de Warrenburg B, Bloem BR, Weerdesteyn V, Geurts ACH (2014). StartReact restores reaction time in HSP: evidence for subcortical release of a motor program, J Neurosci, 34(1):275-81.
  6. Verheyden GSAF, Weerdesteyn V, Pickering RM, Hyndman D, Lennon S, Geurts ACH, Ashburn A (2013). Interventions for preventing falls in people after stroke, Cochrane DB Syst Rev, 5:CD008728.
Name: Dr. Vivian Weerdesteyn
Telephone: 024- 3655286
Visiting address:

Department of Rehabilitation / route 932
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
Reinier Postlaan 4
6525 GC Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Postal address: Department of Rehabilitation // 932
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Feb 19

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Research Theme 2:
Perception, Action and Decision-making

Research Group
Mobility and neurological diseases

Principal Investigator
Dr. V.G.M. Weerdesteyn

Digna de Kam
Teodoro Solis-Escalante

PhD students:
Jolanda Alingh
Frank Berenpas
Milou Coppens
Hanneke van Duijnhoven
Vera Kooiman
Bas van Lith
Jolanda Roelofs
Wouter Staring
Mitchel Stokkermans

Geert van Bon

Research Assistant:
Sanne Beurskens

FEB 2019 EL