Abbott Government to tackle dementia research

Minister for Health Sussan Ley has launched a three-pronged approach to support and promote dementia research in the search of new treatments, models of care and ways of preventing the debilitating disease.

Page last updated: 07 August 2015

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7 August 2015

Minister for Health Sussan Ley today launched a three-pronged approach to support and promote dementia research in the search of new treatments, models of care and ways of preventing the debilitating disease.

Ms Ley today announced $35.6 million for six Dementia Research Team Grants that included the largest dementia clinical trial in the world for people aged 55 to 75 to test an online tool to reduce the risk of dementia, and projects aimed to uncover early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimer’s disease dementias earlier.

Ms Ley said the six grants were a significant part of a $200 million Abbott Government election commitment to dementia research and ensured Australia remained at the forefront of international best practice.

“This $35.6 million Abbott Government commitment to dementia research is essential as the number of Australians with dementia is predicted to grow to over one million people in the next 40 years,” Ms Ley said.

“The significant investment will focus Australian research teams on finding innovative new models of care for dementia, treatments and ways of preventing the disease.

“Importantly these Dementia Research Team Grants provide a new opportunity for Australian researchers to collaborate on priorities, rather than compete as individuals.”

Ms Ley said the teams would be funded across five key research priority areas which align with the priorities of people with dementia and their carers.

“While there is currently no cure for dementia, Australia is a world leader in the disease’s research and progress towards effective treatments,” Ms Ley said.

“The Abbot Government’s commitment to this crucial area of research will make a difference to the lives of millions of Australians over the coming decades.”

Today, Ms Ley also announced that Alzheimer's Australia had won the contract to establish and run the National Health and Medical Research Council’s $50 million National Institute for Dementia Research.

The establishment of the National Institute for Dementia Research is in line with Abbott Government’s commitment to boosting dementia research in Australia and will specifically ensure better integration with international research and a focus for rapid translation of evidence from paper to policy and practice.

“Alzheimer’s Australia have an extensive understanding of both the dementia sector and key issues for the future of dementia research, and are perfectly positioned to lead this new Institute,” Minister Ley said.

To support the work of the Institute, Ms Ley today released the NHMRC National Dementia Research & Translation Priority Framework that highlights five national dementia priorities.

Ms Ley said the priorities had been finalised following broad consultation with researchers, carers, medical practitioners and people with dementia and prioritises research into prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care, and improving the quality of life for people living with dementia.

The government’s $200 million boost to dementia research will contribute to the World Dementia Council’s target of achieving a five year delay in the onset of dementia by 2025.

More information about the grants announced today can be found on the NHMRC website under Outcomes of funding rounds.

Details of the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research, including the priority framework, can be found on the NHMRC website.

Image shows changes that can be made today, what is possible in in 2020 and what is possible in 2030 for: living with dementia; prevention; assessment diagnosis; intervention treatment; and understanding.


Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy – 0478 333 974

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