Final push in the Luxembourg Parkinson's study
In the Luxembourg Parkinson's Study, conducted by the National Centre for Excellence on Research on Parkinson's Disease (NCER-PD), people with and without Parkinson's disease agree to have Parkinson's specialists regularly monitoring their state of health.
These volunteers participate in neurological examinations, allowing scientists to analyse movement patterns and to test attention, memory, language, vision and sense of smell. They are also asked to donate small amounts of blood, saliva or urine. The scientists want to use these regular examinations (once a year in patients and every four years in healthy individuals) to detect early biomarkers that could be used to predict the onset of Parkinson's disease and diagnose the disease earlier. This research should lay the foundations for novel, individualised therapies for Parkinson's.
NCER-PD research aims to benefit patients and improve their quality of life, as NCER-PD Coordinator Professor Rejko Krüger says: "We are inviting the majority of Parkinson’s patients from Luxembourg and the Greater Region to participate in our research. In the future, we will share with them positive outcomes such as improved diagnostics or future new therapies."
200 new participants – with or without Parkinson’s - are being sought
Since 2015, the research collaborators of NCER-PD have been recruiting participants with great success. So far, about 1,400 people with and without Parkinson's have decided to take part. "On behalf of the entire team, I wish to express my gratitude to all the participants!", says Krüger: "By the end of 2019, we want to reach 800 volunteers in each group, i.e. a total of 1,600 participants. Hence, we look forward to welcoming another 100 Parkinson's patients and 100 healthy people in our program in the very near future." These numbers are needed to enable scientists to draw balanced scientific conclusions. For the control group, men over 65 years in particular are needed in order to allow an optimal comparison with the patients group.
Of course, the doors of NCER-PD will also remain open to people who are first diagnosed with Parkinson's after 2019. They will still be able to sign up for examinations and to take part in the Luxembourg Parkinson's Study in the years to come.