Last week, the FNR’s Secretary General Dr Marc Schiltz volunteered as a control subject in the Luxembourg Parkinson Study, within the National Centre for Excellence in Research (NCER-PD), together with Prof Dr Rainer Klump, the President of the University of Luxembourg and Prof Dr Rudi Balling, the Director of the LCSB. This was done to support the large scale NCER-PD study, which seeks to recruit 800 patients as well as 800 control persons over the next 3 years.
“As the university is very much involved in this research project, I am happy to contribute to the success of this clinical study”, explained Prof Dr Klump. “We are honored to have the president of the university take part as a healthy control subject”, emphasised Prof Rejko Krüger, head of the Luxembourg Parkinson Study and FNR ATTRACT Fellow, adding: “It sets a highly visible example, shows that healthy people are also important for our research, and hopefully will further motivate university staff to volunteer as well”.
The Luxembourg Parkinson Study aims to recruit 800 patients as well as 800 control subjects within the next 3 years. Anyone unaffected by Parkinson’s disease can serve as a healthy control for the study. Currently the researchers are particularly in need of men over the age of 40 because the majority of patients falls into this age and gender group. Anyone who would like to take part in the study can find more information about this on www.parkinson.lu
“It is important to convey the message that this study concerns us all, not only the patients.” – Marc Schiltz
Marc Schiltz added that “the visits ran smoothly thanks to the very professional clinical team and it is a real asset to be able to organise appointments on site”.
Indeed, the experienced neurologists, neuropsychologists and study nurses that form the study team have already seen more than a hundred patients and volunteers, and know how to make sure that the examination passes quickly and pleasantly. They can also plan visits at different places throughout Luxembourg, allowing volunteers to easily participate in the study.
The success of the Luxembourg Parkinson Study depends on the participation of a high number of patients as well as control subjects, so do not hesitate to join this scientific adventure. As Prof Dr Rudi Balling said: “it feels great to be able to actively contribute!”
In 2015, the FNR launched the National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s disease (NCER-PD). The aim of this new 8-year programme, which involves all national actors in biomedical research, is to identify new methods for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the stratification of patients in sub-groups. One key element of the programme is a national long-term clinical PD study, which started in 2015.
The funding allocated by the FNR for the programme is 8 MEUR for a first phase of 4 years; the total budget estimated for the 8-year programme amounts to 20 MEUR.