On Monday, 9 November 2015, the first formal consortium meeting of the National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s disease (NCER-PD) took place at the Maison du Savoir in Esch-Belval. Around 50 representatives from all national and international partners gathered to exchange information about their plans and progress.
Launched in April 2015, the Parkinson’s disease research centre is the first NCER of the FNR. The aim of the 8-year programme is to identify new methods for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and the stratification of patients in subgroups. To achieve this, laboratory tests will be combined with computational tools to analyse biological samples and data at the systems level. This means that no gene, protein or pathway will be looked at in isolation, but rather as part of a network or multiple networks.
Centre piece of the NCER-PD programme is a large long-term clinical study of Parkinson’s disease patients and healthy controls from Luxembourg and the Greater Region. Around 150 subjects have thus far been included in the study, as reported by neurologist Prof. Reijko Krüger, who co-leads this cohort study together with Prof. Nico Diederich at the Centre Hospitalier the Luxembourg (CHL). The volunteers will donate samples and data for the above-mentioned analysis. A total of 800 participants are needed for the study.
In addition, systems biology analysis will also be performed on data from international partner cohorts: the DeNoPa study at the Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik in Kassel, the TREND study at the University of Tübingen, and a study at the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre. Representatives from these studies gave talks at the consortium meeting to share their experiences.
The next consortium meeting will be held in 2016.
Parkinson study: more details and how to get involved
- All details about the national cohort study and how to get involved can be found on the dedicated website www.parkinson.lu