ParkinsonNet – Optimal treatment thanks to better networking

Supported by the Ministry of Health, ParkinsonNet Luxembourg will soon commence operations in the Grand Duchy. The aim is to establish a nationwide network of those health professions relating to the treatment and care of Parkinson’s patients.

“We want to offer the patients in Luxembourg optimum possibilities for treatment, to give them the chance of an independent life and thus maintain their quality of life,” says the neurologist and Parkinson’s researcher Prof. Rejko Krüger of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg.

Intensive exchange between treating physicians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, researchers, patients and patients’ associations are especially important for people with Parkinson’s disease. The resulting integrated care guarantees that the latest knowledge from research directly benefits the patients and that therapeutic measures are derived directly from this knowledge.

Working for a better quality of life for patients

ParkinsonNet intends to guarantee high quality of life for Parkinson’s patients, among other means, by continued training of those working in the various health professions. This way, patients will benefit directly from the latest knowledge and insights from research. Patients can also participate in training courses to raise their awareness of all aspects of their disease and to increase their physical ability and self-reliance in coping with the disease.

Another objective is to introduce certifications for service providers in the various health professions to guarantee the highest standards of treatment for the patients. “At the same time, we will increase the multidisciplinary cooperation of Parkinson’s experts by allowing them to share knowledge and experience in our newly established network,” says Rejko Krüger.

From left: Stéphane Pallage (Rector of the University of Luxembourg), Bastiaan Bloem (ParkinsonNet Netherlands), Rejko Krüger (LCSB), Jean-Claude Schmit (Directorate of Health, Ministry of Health), Marc Shiltz (National Research Fund),

Nationwide network

Experience in the Netherlands has shown that the close networking of treating physicians, therapists and researchers creates many benefits. As Prof. Bas Bloem, the director of ParkinsonNet in the Netherlands, emphasised at the launch event: “Thanks to ParkinsonNet, the number of hospitalisations due to disease-associated complications has been significantly reduced in the Netherlands. At the same time, the participating patients express that they feel more secure in relation to their treatment, and we have seen that they are more actively pursuing their own autonomy,“ Bloem says.

Furthermore, the Dutch health system is clearly benefiting from this close networking of the treatment and care of people with Parkinson’s disease and from research into new therapies: “7% of the annual expenditure for treating this disease has been saved,” Bloem explains. “We very much hope to benefit from the same positive experiences and to take a similarly successful course in Luxembourg,” Rejko Krüger concludes.

Photo: © Olivier Dessy