Prevention, improved diagnosis and better overall care were nominated by the National Health and Medical Research Council as the three key aspects of dementia in need of greater research focus in 2015.
The announcement is based on a survey of 187 consumers and aged-care providers, along with 201 researchers and medical practitioners.
The survey also identified as priority research areas the optimisation of clinical care for people with dementia in complex care settings and at different stages of the disease, as well as identifying new methods to increase the self-determination and independence of a person with dementia.
In a statement, the NHMRC said the results would be used to inform the agenda of its National Institute for Dementia Research – a major component of the Australian Government’s $200 million Dementia Research Boost.
NHMRC chief executive professor Warwick Anderson said urgent solutions were needed “to combat the growing problem dementia poses to current and future generations of older Australians”.
“The NHMRC has reached out to consumers, researchers, medical practitioners and aged-care providers to ask them what they think is most important and which areas they believe should be prioritised for research through this dementia initiative,” Anderson said. “Their feedback is essential to ensuring that the research undertaken through this initiative addresses the most pressing concerns and greatest needs of people with dementia and those who care for them.”
With Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures predicting that more than half a million Australians will be living with dementia by 2030, the goals of preventing, improving treatment for and delaying the onset of the condition are ambitious but vital.
The NHMRC’s planned National Institute for Dementia Research is due to be established in the first half of this year. The council said in a statement that it would be responsible for “targeting, co-ordinating and translating the national dementia research effort”.Do you have an idea for a story?
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