Parkinson’s disease a growing concern in Luxembourg

Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the nervous system, affects around 1,000 people in Luxembourg.

This figure is expected to increase considerably over the next few years.

More commonly affecting people aged over 65 years, Parkinson’s is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years and can lead to three main symptoms – body tremors, slow movement or inflexible muscles.

It is the second most common neurodegenerative condition and while it affects up to 10 million people worldwide, around 1,000 people in Luxembourg suffer from the disease, according to Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (CHEM).

For the first time the CHEM is organising — in cooperation with the National Centre for Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s Disease (NCER-PD) — a day to inform people of the condition as part of the Parkinson’s awareness month.

Healthcare professionals, researchers specialising in symptoms and treatments will be on hand to share their findings and knowledge.

Visitors will be able to take a dexterity, sight and smell test and experience what it is like to suffer from the condition in the “Parkinson Suit”.

The aim of the day is to support and raise awareness of the ongoing research into understanding Parkinson’s disease and improve early diagnosis as well as treatment options for the condition which is, to date, incurable.

A total of 800 patients, who suffer from the classical form of the disease as well as rare and atypical forms of Parkinson’s, are needed to take part in a research project, launched in 2015. A further 800 volunteers not affected by the disease will also be examined.

The open day will be held at the CHEM in Esch-sur-Alzette on April 25 between 9am and 4pm. Experts from NCER-PD and Dr Alex Bisdorff, a neurologist at CHEM, will be talking to visitors.

For more information visit the NCER website or phone 4411 4848.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for the research project can do so on April 25.