Date published: 
13 June 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and is one of our greatest health challenges. As Australians live longer, many people will either be diagnosed with dementia, care for someone with dementia, or watch a relative live with cognitive decline. 

Some Australians will experience all three. 

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, has today launched the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation at the Australian Dementia Forum in Hobart.

After five years of significant investment through the Australian Government’s $200 million Boosting Dementia Research Initiative, NNIDR has sharpened the focus for future dementia research efforts. High priorities include introducing new and less invasive methods for early diagnosis into clinics across Australia and tackling the challenge of dementia within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Minister noted the opportunity to support people living with dementia in aged care facilities.

“Earlier diagnosis represents a real opportunity to make a positive impact for people living with dementia,” Minister Colbeck said.“

As Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, I am deeply concerned at the high number of Australians living with dementia in our aged care facilities. More supported access to treatment can vastly improve quality of care, and help people to live well with dementia in the community.”

Since the Initiative was launched in 2015, a total of 133 grants have been awarded to 280 leading dementia researchers working across 26 universities and medical research institutes. It is estimated that the work undertaken through the Initiative represents over one million new hours of dementia research.

Through NNIDR and the Government’s $185 million 10 year Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission, funded through the Medical Research Future Fund, Australia is committed to the World Dementia Council’s international target to identify a disease-modifying therapy by 2025.