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Dementia research receives $21 million in Federal funding

Thirteen projects focussing on risk reduction, prevention and tracking of dementia, will receive $21 million in funding from the Australian Government, including an Australian first project that will use electronic record data to map the prevalence of dementia.

The selected projects receiving funding focus on risk reduction, prevention and tracking of dementia in Australia. [Source: Shutterstock]
The selected projects receiving funding focus on risk reduction, prevention and tracking of dementia in Australia. [Source: Shutterstock]

The recent investment boosts the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Boosting Dementia Research Grant Scheme to $200 million.

Identifying the need for development, the Government has invested in different research projects to meet the care needs of people with dementia and to develop new treatments to combat the disease.

Without a medical breakthrough, it is predicted that more than 1.1 million Australians will be living with dementia by 2058.

National peak body, Dementia Australia, has expressed their appreciation for the recent $21 million funding boost into dementia research.

Chief Executive Officer of Dementia Australia, Maree McCabe says, “We applaud the injection of funding into dementia research, that will lead to better outcomes for people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. These research projects are crucial as we know that without a medical breakthrough, an estimated 1.1 million Australians will be living with dementia by 2058.

“Investment into research that focuses on risk reduction and prevention is fundamental if we are to reduce the sharply increasing prevalence of dementia. These projects will make real progress in understanding dementia and benefit generations of Australians to come.

“Better data on dementia underpins targeted capacity building in the sector and will assist the long-term planning of dementia care in Australia. Dementia is the chronic disease of the 21st century. 

“It is paramount that dementia continues to be a focus through the National Institute of Dementia Research and the Medical Research Future Fund within the broad parameters of the health, ageing and aged care.”

Peninsula Health-Monash University, Victoria, has two dementia research projects at the National Centre for Healthy Ageing that will receive a share in funding support.

Monash University researchers have received a $600,000 grant to conduct a study in the Peninsula region in Victoria, which will be rolled out nationally if successful.

The project is brand new in Australia and will use electronic record data to develop ways to monitor the prevalence of dementia and its risk factors, leading to better management and treatment of dementia.

Another Monash University project has received $2 million to prevent and reduce the risk of developing dementia in 45-65 year olds.

Carried out across New South Wales and Victoria, the aim of the study is to develop an individualised health promotion program encompassing self-management training, practical behaviour change techniques and General Practitioner coordinated interdisciplinary management of dementia risk factors.

Boosting Dementia Research Grant scheme funding recipients include:

Associate Professor Lisbeth Evered, University of Melbourne - The PROTECT Trial: PeRiOperaTive Enhancement of Cognitive Trajectory - $1,615,118.80

Professor Kaarin Anstey, University of New South Wales - Translating the evidence on dementia risk reduction to generate assessments, advice and training for health professionals, policy makers, patients and public - $1,995,480.60

Professor Andrew Pipingas, Swinburne University of Technology - Mediterranean diet and exercise to reduce cognitive decline and dementia risks in independently living older Australians: the MedWalk randomised controlled trial - $1,772,616.00

Doctor Ashleigh Smith, University of South Australia - Living your best day - Optimising activity and diet compositions for dementia prevention - $1,234,805.00

Professor Sharon Naismith, University of Sydney - REducing Sleep Apnoea for the PrEvention of Dementia (REShAPED): a multi-site feasibility RCT - $1,468,684.80

Professor Katherine Samaras, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research - Preventing cognitive decline with metformin: a randomised controlled trial - $1,998,024.60

Doctor Paul Gardiner, The University of Queensland - Taking a whole of day approach to optimising activity to prevent dementia in people with type 2 diabetes - $1,480,827.10

Doctor Yen Ying Lim, University of Melbourne - BetterBrains: Person-Centred, Multi-Domain, Primary Prevention Strategies to Delay Memory Decline - $1,568,806.80

Doctor Johnson George, Monash University - Holistic Approach in Primary care for PreventIng Memory Impairment aNd Dementia (HAPPI MIND) - $1,999,499.84

Associate Professor Amy Brodtmann, University of Melbourne - Cardiovascular exercise to prevent cognitive decline in high risk patient populations: a post-ischaemic stroke exercise intervention study - $1,613,508.00

Associate Professor Edward Strivens, James Cook University - Reducing dementia risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities - $1,515,145.00

Boosting Dementia Research Grants Priority Round Six: Improving Dementia Data and Methods

Professor Annette Dobson, The University of Queensland - Improving Australia's Dementia Statistics - $2,154,096.00

Professor Velandai Srikanth, Monash University - Leveraging electronic medical records and routine administrative data towards a population approach for monitoring dementia frequency, risk factors and management - $617,335.60

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