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Boost to dementia research welcomed

Thursday, 10th January, 2013

By Darrin Manuel

A local support group has welcomed the announcement of a boost to Alzheimer’s research.

The Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation recently announced a number of new grants worth $1.6 million for young, emerging researchers.

The Far West Dementia Advisory Service Support Group (FWDASSG) said any injection of money into dementia research would be embraced by local sufferers and carers.

“It will be great. The more money that goes towards it the better, there needs to be more research so we can get some answers,” said FWDASSG Dementia Advisor, Mel Chynoweth.

“It’s so hard for carers who are looking after someone with dementia, especially if it’s a loved one; It’s like losing the person you love, and yet you still have them.

“So the influx of money into research will be fabulous because the prevalence of dementia is rising every day.”

Alzheimer’s Australia’s National President, Ita Buttrose, said the grants had been made possible through the generous donations of companies and individual donors.

“Community support for researchers is vital to help us find ways to better support people living with dementia,” Ms Buttrose said.

“Alzheimer’s Australia would now like to see the Government match this support by providing much better investment in dementia research.

“We are greatly concerned at the lack of Government investment in dementia research. In 2011-12, the National Health and Medical Research Council allocated only $24 million for dementia research, compared with $159.2 million for cancer research, $92.4 million for cardiovascular disease research and $71.2 million for diabetes research.

“In the past 10 years, the Council has awarded only 56 grants, scholarships and fellowships to new dementia researchers. In comparison the number of grants for cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes were around 700, 500 and 250 respectively,” Ms Buttrose said.

“With dementia already the third leading cause of death in Australia, it is imperative that the Government increases its investment in research to $200 million over the next five years. This will allow us to successfully build the capacity of Australian researchers and help them find ways of delaying the onset of dementia, to treat symptoms and even better, to stop dementia altogether.”

The Far West Dementia Advisory Service Support Group meets once a month. Anyone seeking more information can phone 1300 005 060.

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