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Efforts to unlock secrets of dementia set for major boost

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Worthy but disparate efforts to understand and prevent the development of dementia, which blights the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians and their families and carers every year, are set to become more targeted and co-ordinated.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has invited expressions of interest for the establishment of a National Institute for Dementia Research, which is a key plank in the Federal Government’s $200 million strategy to tackle the debilitating condition.

Currently, more than 332,000 Australians are living with dementia, and this number is expected to increase by a third to more than 400,000 within 10 years. Unless there is a medical breakthrough, the number of Australians with dementia is expected to soar to  almost 900,000 by 2050.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said the NHMRC Institute for Dementia Research would help inject new momentum into efforts to unlock the secrets of the devastating condition.

“We are establishing an innovative research institute to help target, coordinate and translate the national research effort to ensure existing and new research translates into better understanding of these diseases, better treatment and care for dementia patients and hopefully one day a cure,” Mr Dutton said.

“One of the key objectives of the Institute is to identify essential dementia research priorities for Australia across the full spectrum, from basic research to implementation.”

For more information about the Institute, visit https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/research/boosting-dementia-research-initiative

Kirsty Waterford