Retired Professor completes Ben Nevis challenge for Parkinson’s research

A former Dean of the medical school at the University of Plymouth has walked ‘the hard way’ up Britain’s highest mountain in aid of the University’s Parkinson’s research.

Emeritus Professor Rob Sneyd, who himself has Parkinson’s, completed the Carn Mor Dearg arrêté route up Ben Nevis. Known among walkers as the ‘horseshoe’ route, the climb is pathless, involves scrambling over rocks, and is far less trodden than the more visited tourist route.

Managing to complete the climb alongside three friends and colleagues, including Professor of Health Services Research, Adrian Taylor, Professor Sneyd has raised over £4,000 for Parkinson’s research at the University of Plymouth, via the Peninsula Medical Foundation. He is hoping to reach a £5,000 target.

Visit Professor Sneyd’s JustGiving page

The funding will be divided between clinical and laboratory-based Parkinson’s research at the University. The Applied Parkinson’s Research Group is nationally recognised for its clinical trials on neuroprotective interventions in Parkinson’s; while the laboratory research focuses on understanding Parkinson’s at the cellular level. 

See more about the University’s Parkinson’s research


Professor Sneyd said:

“Making my way up and down the steep slopes on dodgy, and sometimes loose, boulders was a pretty severe test of core stability, and thankfully Adrian (Taylor) kindly positioned himself immediately below me on the bits where I was most likely fall. Ben Nevis takes about four hours to climb, and as long again to descend, so neurologically I was running-on-empty. Parkinson’s plus loose rock isn’t a great combination, but I’m really pleased I got through it.

“The support so far has been great, and I’m very grateful to anyone who wants to donate to this really important cause.”

Dr Camille Carroll, Associate Professor in Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, said: 

“It was wonderful to work alongside Rob when he was Dean, and his tenacity in managing his Parkinson’s post-retirement is fantastic. Intrinsic to our work is our person-centred approach and digital innovation, and all funds raised will ensure that vital work carries on to help and empower people with Parkinson’s to live well with their condition.”


Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases, and lead of the laboratory-based Parkinson’s Research Group, Edgar Kramer, added: 

“We are so grateful to Rob and the team for choosing to support our work. When money comes from personal fundraising in any capacity, we ensure every penny is used to take the next steps, however small, as every piece of information could help us solve the puzzle of what causes, and can ultimately cure, Parkinson’s. Thank you to everyone involved.”  


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