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Survey identifies key dementia research priorities

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The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Institute for Dementia Research has identified diagnosis, prevention and interventions to reduce risk as the key priorities for dementia research.

Australian scientists are world leaders in dementia research and, over the coming decades, would have found treatments for dementia. However, this timeline is too slow for the economic and social pressures of an ageing population. Therefore, the federal government moved to accelerate research discoveries with a $200 million investment to boost dementia research in the 2014–15 Budget.

A survey and interviews of consumers (people with dementia, families, personal carers), researchers (new and established), medical practitioners and aged care providers identified three top priorities.

For professional care providers, senior investigators, researchers and medical practitioners, the priority is to identify effective interventions to reduce the risk and prevent the incidence of dementia.

For people with dementia, timely, accurate and supported diagnosis is paramount, with prevention the second priority — a reminder of the importance of accurate and sensitive diagnosis and support for people with dementia and their families.

For personal carers, the priority is to develop effective interventions to support their opportunity and capacity to provide care, which are…