National and international cooperation as well as the integration of various clinical and scientific disciplines are pivotal for the IDA research group and our projects. Moreover, IDA collaborates closely with research groups within the Department of Neurology and offers consulting concerning data analysis and research approaches.

Our current projects are assigned to three key topics:

Early detection of Parkinson's diseases

Research group Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Together, the research groups Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases and IDA investigate markers and methods, which could enable the early identification of persons within the prodromal phase of Parkinson’s disease. The application of the Movement Disorder Society (MDS) research criteria for prodromal Parkinson’s disease and further refinement of these methods are key aspects of IDA research. Here, marker profiles and calculated probabilities of prodromal Parkinson’s disease are investigated in incident Parkinson patients and healthy controls of several prospective cohort studies.

German Parkinson Society (DPG)

As part of a DPG research cooperation of several German cohort studies (Depression-PD/Rostock; EPIPARK/Lübeck; PRIPS/Homburg und Tübingen; TREND/Tübingen) IDA investigates interactions of markers as well as age- and sex-dependent predictive values of markers. Objective is to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of predicting Parkinson’s disease.

InGef, Berlin

In cooperation with the InGef (, the MoPED consortium (Morbus Parkinson Epidemiology in Germany) and IDA updated prevalence and incidence of Parkinson in Germany in 2015 based on health insurance data of approx. 4 million insurants could be estimated. These longitudinal data on medical diagnoses years before the Parkinson diagnosis will now be analyzed with a scope on the prediction of Parkinson’s disease. Using such a comprehensive database previous findings of cohort studies in prodromal Parkinson’s disease could be replicated, revised and complemented with new markers and predictive factors.  

Parkinson‘s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI)

Working together with Dr. Rezzak Yilmaz (Research group Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases) IDA analyzes data of the PPMI study, a cohort of de-novo Parkinson patients. Research questions comprise the investigation of symptoms, markers and marker profiles at disease onset. Thereby, the predictive values of markers and symptom profiles could be further specified to improve the accuracy of Parkinson prediction.

Motor functions & cognition

TREND study (Tuebingen evaluation of Risk factors for the Early detection of NeuroDegeneration)

IDA analyzes longitudinal and cross-sectional data (assessed every two years since 2009) of the prospective TREND cohort (in cooperation with Prof. Daniela Berg and Prof. Walter Maetzler). Data types comprise, e.g. motor assessments (sensors, motor tests), neuropsychological tests (CERAD-Plus, MoCA), and data on autonomic dysfunction, sleep disorders, hyposmia, depression and medical history. The overall objective is to identify, characterize and validate risk and prodromal markers for Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Understanding the associations between different risk and prodromal markers is crucial for the specification of their predictive values and for a more accurate and earlier detection of these diseases. 

MODEP study

Within the MODEP study (Modeling Epidemiological Data to study Parkinson's disease progression) patients with Parkinson’s disease were followed prospectively for 5 years from 2010-2016. Motor and non-motor symptoms were assessed biannually. In cooperation with Prof. Daniela Berg and Prof. Walter Maetzler IDA analyses the MODEP data to investigate progression markers and predictors of the course of Parkinson’s disease. Analyses comprise markers of motor deficits (sensor data), cognitive functions, depression and autonomic dysfunction.


The research group Neurogeriatrics and IDA collaborate closely regarding statistical analyses of motor and non-motor markers and methodological approaches for the investigation of neurogeriatric research questions.


IDA analyses neuropsychological data from cohort- and clinical studies in cooperation with Dr. Nils Margraf and Dr. Bettina Moeller (research group Neuropsychology). Analyses are focusing on cognitive impairment of Parkinson patients and individuals at early prodromal stage of neurodegenerative diseases.

Biomarkers and common disease processes

Microbiome of stool samples

The microbiome of about 700 stool samples of TREND study participants has been analyzed by the team of Dr. Filip Scheperjans (University of Helsinki, Finland). In collaboration with IDA these microbiome data are now being analyzed for associations with data of various other TREND assessments, e.g. lifestyle/nutrition, risk and prodromal markers of Parkinson.

Commonalities of diseases and systemic functions

Together with leading experts of movement disorders IDA currently works on a systematic review of commonalities and differences in prodromal markers of movement disorders. Moreover, the early prodromal phase of Parkinson’s disease is often characterized by internistic and neuropsychiatric diseases/complications. Therefore, IDA aims to consider, for their analyses and project designs, markers and processes that overlap between different disease entities.