Three expert teams in Australia will share in $1.5 million to undertake research into causes of dementia through projects funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
NHMRC is partnering with the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) to increase our understanding of dementia and improve health outcomes for people living with the condition.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates almost 400,000 people in Australia are living with dementia, with that figure set to more than double by 2058.
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia.
As life expectancy continues to increase in both Australia and Japan, this funding addresses key challenges for our ageing populations.
The Australian lead researchers for the three collaborative projects announced today are:
- Dr Chien-Hsiung (Alan) Yu, from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, who will work with collaborators from the University of Tokyo and Niigata University to investigate how tau protein build-up triggers neuron death in the brain and develop therapies for preventing this damaging protein cascade
- Dr Yijun Pan, also from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, who will work with collaborators from Tohoku University and the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology to focus on accurate diagnosis, potential therapeutic targets and modifiable risk factors for patients living with vascular or frontotemporal dementia, with the goal to improve quality of life of people living with dementia
- Dr Quan Huynh, from Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, who will work with collaborators from Gunma University and Shinshu University to test the feasibility and effectiveness of an innovative model of care that will enable health care professionals to screen patients with cognitive impairment and heart failure, aiming to improve cognition and reduce the risk of dementia and cardiovascular events.
The NHMRC-AMED 202 Collaborative Dementia Research Scheme focuses on early career researchers and aims to improve understanding of the many potential causes of dementia and modifiable lifestyle risk and protective factors that may prevent or delay dementia’s onset.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells:
“Dementia has a significant impact on the quality of life for not only those living with the condition but their families and carers too.
“With dementia now the second leading cause of death in Australia, projects like these are critical.
“Investing in understanding the causes of dementia and the potential to delay its onset will benefit all Australians.”
Quotes attributable to NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO:
“Funding announced today will provide the opportunity for newly independent researchers to build international networks and develop long-term careers focusing on dementia research.
“Australia is a global leader in dementia research and these grants provide new opportunities for our newest and brightest scientists to collaborate with researchers in Japan on the shared challenge of dementia.”
Applications are listed in order of Application ID:
Dr Yijun Pan, University of Melbourne – Exploring biomarkers, therapeutic targets, and modifiable risk factors for non-Alzheimer's dementia
Budget – $499,807
Dr Chien-Hsiung (Alan) Yu, University of Melbourne – Novel therapeutic strategies to intervene in tau-associated neurodegeneration by modulating tau clearance and neuroinflammation
Budget – $499,644
Dr Quan Huynh, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute – Reducing Cognitive impairment by management of Heart Failure as a Modifiable Risk Factor: the Cog-HF trial
Budget – $499,487