Participants Needed: Help advance Luxembourg’s major Parkinson’s research study!

The National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s Disease (NCER-PD) is seeking participants to take part in a large research study in Luxembourg. Besides patients, the study is also particularly in need of healthy control subjects – members of the general public who are not affected by the disease – especially men over the age of 40.

About the study

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease of the brain and it is likely that an increased number of people will suffer from it in the coming years due to the ageing of the population. It is estimated around 1,000 people in Luxembourg are living with Parkinson’s.

A major problem with Parkinson’s disease is that it is usually diagnosed in patients when the disease has already progressed significantly. If there were methods for an earlier detection, doctors could treat patients with protective therapies and thereby increase the patients’ quality of life. Why people become ill, and whether the disease will progress fast or slowly, is also difficult to predict.

Dany NCER-PD_justD
If you would like to find out more about what it’s like to take part in the study, read the interview with Dany, who was the 100th healthy control subject of the study.

In order to understand all this better, a central objective of the NCER-PD research programme is the long-term clinical study with Parkinson’s disease patients from Luxembourg and neighbouring countries as well as healthy control subjects.

The main focus of the study is to compare the results from clinical tests and specific laboratory measurements (i.e. metabolic products or genetic information) from patients and healthy controls. This may lead to the identification of new methods for the diagnosis and division of the disease into subgroups stratification of the disease.

Who can participate?

Anyone unaffected by Parkinson’s can be a healthy control subject for the study; however, 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. So far, around 262 healthy control subjects have been recruited – but 800 are needed in total.

What do you have to do?

All participants are examined by a neurologist and neuropsychologist who test for instance their movement, dexterity, sense of smell and memory. In addition, every participant is asked to provide saliva, blood and urine samples. Participants who wish to be more involved can additionally provide stool samples. The participation to this study doesn’t imply the testing of any medication. Healthy control subjects are invited to be re-examined every 4 years. Participation is non-remunerated and free of consent, which allows you to quit at any time.

Where does the testing take place?

Examinations for control persons take place at the Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Center (CIEC) of the Luxembourg Institute of Health in Strassen, Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (CHEM) in Esch-sur-Alzette and soon in Ettelbruck. Consultations can also be organized within a company or association and take 2 – 3 hours.

Any samples provided are stored at the IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg), where they are also frozen so the researchers can analyse the samples again in the future, as methods and technology evolve.

You can also read an interview with the 200th healthy control subject Jean-Niclas

How to participate?

Visit the dedicated website for more details on how to participate and more information about the study.

You can also contact Jean-Yves Ferrand from the LIH’s Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centre (CIEC) on +352 26 970 889 or via email on

More about NCER-PD

The NCER-PD research programme is the first National Centre of Excellence in Research (NCER) of the FNR – and the Luxembourg Parkinson’s Study is the largest of its kind in Luxembourg. The study brings Luxembourg to the forefront of research into Parkinson’s disease, and, for the first time, diverse national research actors have come together to utilise all of their experience and knowledge to understand the disease.

The aim of the 8-year NCER-PD programme is to identify new methods for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and the division of patients in sub-groups.

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