25 August, 2013
Ita Buttrose, 2013 Australian of the year and National President of Alzheimer’s Australia welcomed the commitment made by the Leader of the Federal Opposition, Tony Abbott, in his policy announcement today that if elected the Coalition would commit $200 million over five years to dementia research.
“Alzheimer’s Australia, as part of its Fight Dementia Campaign, has been advocating for greatly increased funding for dementia research. This funding commitment will give Australians hope that future generations might escape this terrible chronic disease,” Ms Buttrose said.
Alzheimer’s Australia has been calling on both the major parties to give a priority to aged care and dementia. Currently more than 320,000 Australians are living with dementia and this figure is predicted to rise to 400,000 within seven years. Each week 1,700 new cases throughout Australia are diagnosed.
“There are promising strategies in dementia research to identify those at risk of dementia and the priority now is to intervene as early as possible to reduce the risk,” Ms Buttrose said.
“The $200 million, representing $40 million each year, will be important in building dementia research capacity for the future and supporting those projects that will help us to better understand the causes of dementia and how to modify its progression.”