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Funding wave to boost dementia research

The minister for health and ageing, Sussan Ley, has launched a three-pronged approach to support dementia research in the quest for new treatments, models of care and preventive measures.

Ley announced $35.6 million in funding would go towards six dementia research team grants as part of the Coalition’s $200 million election commitment to dementia research.

Research to be funded by these grants includes a clinical trial of an online tool that may help prevent dementia, and projects aimed at uncovering early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimer’s dementia.

Ley said these grants are essential in light of the challenges the ageing population poses.

“This … commitment to dementia research is essential, as the number of Australians with dementia is predicted to grow to over 1 million people in the next 40 years,” Ley said. “The Abbott Government’s commitment to this crucial area of research will make a difference to the lives of millions of Australians over the coming decades.”

The health minister has also announced that Alzheimer’s Australia has won the contract to establish and run the National Health and Medical Research Council’s $50 million National Institute for Dementia Research.

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

In support of the work by the new institute, Ley released the NHMRC National Dementia Research and Translation Priority Framework, which highlights the five national priorities in dementia policy. She said the framework’s key priorities – prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and improving the quality of life of people living with dementia – had been finalised following consultation with researchers, carers, medical practitioners and people living with dementia.

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