Govt Funds New Dementia Research
20 October 2015 at 11:09 am
Seventy-six researchers will share in $43 million in Federal Government funding to support new ideas to tackle the impacts of dementia as well as find ways of preventing and curing the debilitating disease.
Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, said the fellowships were part of the Government’s $200 million election commitment to dementia research.
Ley said dementia was Australia’s second leading cause of death and currently around 1.2 million Australians were involved in the care of someone with the disease.
“This $43 million commitment, which builds on our $35 million research announcement in August, is essential as the number of Australians with dementia is predicted to grow to over one million people in the next 40 years,” Ley said.
“While there is currently no cure for dementia, Australia is a world leader in dementia research and the Fellows will no doubt make leaps and bounds in our understanding of how best to prevent, diagnose and treat this disease and how best to support people with dementia and their carers.”
Ley said the new Fellows would explore ideas such as new ways to understand the progression of dementia in the brain, the role of intense exercise in protecting the ageing brain, and ways to build resilience in the dementia care workforce.
The Federal Opposition said it welcomed the $43 million funding for dementia research, but warned it should not be seen as a replacement for investing in dementia care, training and community awareness.
“Dementia care has reached a critical point, following two years of mismanagement and cruel cuts under the Abbott/Turnbull Government,” Shadow Minister for Ageing, Shayne Neuman, said.
“We acknowledge that dementia research is essential, but we must remember that today’s breakthrough could still take years or decades to make an impact.
“Australians living with dementia now, their families, carers and communities have been neglected by the Liberal Government for over two years.
“If Sussan Ley was truly serious about dementia she would outline a strategy for dealing with dementia now.
“The first step would be releasing the report into the current Government funded dementia programs, which began over 12 months ago and was due by June 2015.”
The Dementia Research Development Fellowships are jointly funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.