By Samantha L on the Wednesday, November 20, 2013
$1.6 million worth of grants to fund dementia research have been announced by Alzheimer’s Australia’s Dementia Research Foundation for young, emerging researchers. The Foundation’s Full Fellowship worth $90,000 per year has been awarded to Dr Timothy Ryan, whose project will look at identifying and validating Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in red blood cells.Other projects to be funded include research which will examine cognitive training in people with mild cognitive impairment and research into early markers of late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s Australia national president Ita Buttrose said the grants would not have been possible without generous donations from the individual donors and companies.
Ms Buttrose also criticised the Government for lack of 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 and $71.2 million for diabetes research” she said.
She said that the Council had only received 56 grants, scholarships and fellowships for new dementia research over the past 10 years.
In comparison 700 grants have been given for cancer research, 500 for cardiovascular disease and 250 for diabetes.
“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” she said.
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