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8 August 2014
Australia’s best researchers have been urged to come together to help solve one of the world’s major health issues – dementia.
The Minister for Health, Peter Dutton today announced the opening of a new round of dementia research grants and invited cross disciplinary groups of researchers to apply for the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) new Dementia Research Team Grants, worth up to $6.5 million each over five years.
Mr Dutton made the announcement while visiting the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research in Brisbane - Australia’s first and only facility entirely focused on research into the prevention and treatment of dementia.
More than 300,000 Australians have dementia and it is forecast that will grow to one million by 2050. It is now the third leading cause of death.
The research grants will support new research into big themes: the causes of dementia, improved methods of prevention and early diagnosis, new treatment options and ways to improve quality of life for patients and their carers.
“Dementia is a cruel disease that attacks the fundamentals of who we are – it can erase the memories of those we cherish and the experiences that have defined us,” Mr Dutton said.
A recent survey found dementia had overtaken cancer as the most feared disease for adults over 55.
“Our understanding of how to diagnose and treat cancer has made great progress over the last few decades, but the same cannot be said for dementia. We fear it because we know so little about it,” Mr Dutton said.
“To alleviate the haunting threat of dementia, we need to be able to answer the big questions about prevention, cures and care. And to do that we need stronger investment in research.
“Australia has some of the best researchers in the world to lead the way and the Government will support you to foster world-leading, patient-focused research into these devastating brain diseases.”
The Dementia Team Research Grants are worth a total of $32.5 million and are the first step in delivering the Australian Government’s $200 million Boosting Dementia Research commitment.
NHMRC is responsible for administering the Government’s commitment and will disburse the $200 million as follows:
- $95 million to support large scale research projects (including $32.5 million to support up to five Dementia Research Team Grants)
- $9 million to support the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research
- $46 million for capacity building grants to attract researchers from other fields into dementia research (to be managed in partnership with the Australian Research Council, who will provide $26 million of these funds)
- $50 million to target, coordinate and translate dementia research through the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research
MEDIA CONTACT: John Wiseman – 0401 776 108