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Alzheimer’s Australia CEO Glenn Rees said: “In terms of research investment, dementia has always been the poor cousin of conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”
“With the additional $200 million for dementia research announced by the new Government before the election, we are for the first time within reach of investing $60 million a year in dementia research which is about 1% of the cost of dementia to the health care system”
Currently there are 321,000 Australians with dementia a number that will increase to 900,000 by 2050.
The new dementia funding is part of the $562 million in new grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council, and it will support research into all aspects of dementia, from basic neuroscience to clinical care.
One of the larger dementia grants has been awarded to Griffith University’s Professor Wendy Moyle, who is also a member of Dementia Australia’s Scientific and Medical Panel. Her team will investigate the use of companion robots in reducing agitation and dangerous medication use among people with dementia in nursing homes.
Another large study led by Associate Professor Jacqui Close from the University of NSW will trial new ways of preventing falls among people with dementia that often lead to hospitalisation and serious adverse health outcomes.
“Dementia was recognised last year as a National Health Priority Area, and today’s announcement shows that both the Government and the medical research community is stepping up to the challenge of finding ways to prevent and treat this debilitating disease, and to develop better approaches to caring for those who are living with dementia,” Mr Rees said.
“Alzheimer’s Australia is also looking forward to working with the new Government to achieve the best outcomes from the significant funding commitment they have made.”
National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area
Media enquiries: Krystal Craig, 0407 019 430.