NCER-PD: Meet Dany, the 100th Parkinson’s study control person


May 2016

Control persons are vital to studies looking at diseases. LIH spoke to Dany, the 100th control person of the Parkinson’s disease study of the NCER-PD.

NCER-PD stands for National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s Disease. It represents a joint effort between four partners in Luxembourg that unite their expertise in Parkinson’s disease: Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedecine (LCSB), Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL) and Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH).

This collaboration between all the research institutions focusing on Parkinson’s disease in Luxembourg has been funded by the FNR since spring 2015 when the Centre was launched.

In order to answer the urgent questions surrounding the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, researchers need to analyse clinical data and samples from hundreds of patients and healthy control persons.

The active participation in the Luxembourgish Parkinson’s study is therefore an important prerequisite for the success of the NCER-PD research project.

What’s your name/age?

“I’m Dany, I’m 58 years old.”

Where do you come from?

“I was born here in Luxembourg. I’m an authentic Luxembourger!”

How did you hear about the NCER-PD study, and what motivated you in participating?

“I read about it on Facebook. I’m following the page, and I always read the articles because I find them really interesting. That’s where I got to know about the study.

“What motivated me? I‘ve somehow always been interested in medicine, and seeing that such a study is taking place in Luxembourg caught my attention. It has never been done before, and it is really something important. I could get sick from Parkinson tomorrow, and I know some people who have been living with the disease for years – I can see it’s very difficult, not to have control on yourself anymore. I guess you must feel a bit trapped in your own body.

“I already volunteered for Omega 90 and Médecins du Monde, I just find it natural to help. So if I can contribute in any way to help researchers in understanding what happens and finding new treatments for Parkinson, I’m more than happy to do so!”

How was your day here?

“Very good! People are very nice, and I could ask a couple of questions to the doctor who came for the examination, so I even got to learn a few things!”

What would you tell the people who are still hesitating in participating?

“It doesn’t hurt! (laughs) Don’t be afraid! We can’t stand waiting and not doing anything – you’ve got to do something too!”

What would you tell the researchers and staff working on the project?

“Go on and … find something! The job you do is really important, even if you don’t always get the recognition you owe. So don’t stop and don’t drop the ball. What you’re doing is great and we’re counting on you!”

And to the Parkinson’s disease patients?

“Keep hoping, and don’t forget to enjoy the little things in life!”

More information

Read our feature about NCER-PD

Visit to find how to get involved

This interview was originally featured on the website of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)

Left to right: Dr Christian Stallinger (Parkinson Clinic, CHL), Parkinson study participant Dany, Anne-Marie Hanff (Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centre, LIH), Jean-Yves Ferrand (Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centre, LIH) and Dr Pierre Kolber (Parkinson Clinic, CHL)


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