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Additional $40 million for dementia research projects

An allocation of $40 million has been announced by the federal government to support 45 medical research projects aimed at improving the lives of Australians fighting dementia.

Grants for dementia research will be administered by the NHMRC (Source: Shutterstock)
Grants for dementia research will be administered by the NHMRC (Source: Shutterstock)

The grants will support researchers undertaking projects in identified priority areas that deliver on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Institute for Dementia Research’s policy to expand leadership in the study of dementia.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Minster for Aged Care Ken Wyatt state that the projects receiving funding are ‘critical to addressing this growing health issue and in accelerating our fight to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer’s’.

Among the successful grant recipients are two researchers and professors from The University of New South Wales Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing - Research Fellow Dr Nicole Kochan and Professor Henry Brodaty.

Dr Kochan was awarded a Boosting Dementia Research Grant while Dr Brodarty received his funding as the investigator of two separate studies led by Monash University and the University of Sydney, and he says that the grants are a positive step forward in dementia research.

“Australia has an excellent track record in dementia research,” Professor Brodaty says.

“These grants demonstrate a strong government commitment to address a burgeoning health issue and accelerate critical research to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Australia.”

For Dr Kochan, the funding means that the reliability and validity of computerised neuropsychological tests can be achieved before implementing them into clinical practice.

“Computerised tests using tablet computers and Internet delivery offer excellent opportunities for large-scale implementation of cognitive screening and monitoring of older adults,” she says.

“We anticipate that this study will move the field forward and have a major impact on the practice of cognitive testing in older adults with suspected cognitive decline.”

The 45 successful projects will be administered by the NHMRC with a full list of grant recipients available on their website.

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