Dementia & Ageing

HEALTH AREA

There are several well-known diseases where neurodegeneration occurs, including Alzheimer’s and other dementias, in which your memory and ability to think are affected.

Aboriginal ageing

Very little is currently known about how Australian Aboriginal people age. What we do know is that rates of dementia in Aboriginal Australians living in remote and rural areas are up to five times higher than the rest of the Australian population. Almost nothing is known about the prevalence of dementia in urban Aboriginal communities. The Koori Growing Old Well Study explores healthy ageing and cognition in urban Aboriginal communities, in particular looking at how life events affect healthy ageing.

Alzheimer’s disease

We are conducting research into the role of inflammation in Alzheimer's disease in order to find potential targets for therapeutic intervention. We are also studying how Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain and body early in the disease, with the aim of developing a diagnostic test. Through our research on healthy ageing, we are working with Indigenous communities to increase our knowledge about ageing and dementia in Australian Aboriginal people living in urban areas.

Dementia

Dementia is a group of brain disorders that affect a person’s memory, thinking and ability to interact socially. It is caused by damaged nerve cells that may occur in several areas of the brain.

Frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common degenerative disease causing dementia in younger adults. Our research is investigating the cognitive, behavioural, psychological and physical brain changes associated with frontotemporal dementia, as well as the impact of the disease on the lives of patients and their families. We are also looking at the genetics of frontotemporal dementia, and are currently conducting animal studies and designing a clinical trial of a potential treatment to slow the disease.

NeuroHIV

There is a growing concern that long-term HIV infection and aging may increase the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases similar to Alzheimer's disease. We are conducting a study to better understand whether long-term HIV infection increases the risk of developing difficulties with memory and concentration in HIV+ individuals aged 45 years or older.

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FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

During three decades on Australian television, two simple words brought us to attention.

‘Hello daaaahling’. Outrageous, flamboyant, iconic – Jeanne Little captivated Australians everywhere with her unique style, cockatoo shrill voice and fashion sense. "Mum wasn't just the life of the party, she was the party.” Katie Little, Jeanne’s daughter remembers. This icon of Australian television brought a smile into Australian homes. Tragically, today Jeanne can't walk, talk or feed herself. She doesn't recognise anyone, with a random sound or laugh the only glimpse of who she truly is. Jeanne Little has Alzheimer's disease. The 1,000 Brains Study NeuRA is very excited to announce the 1,000 Brains Study, a ground-breaking research project to identify the elements in our brains that cause life-changing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias. This study will focus on the key unresolved question: why do some of us develop devastating neurodegenerative diseases, while others retain good brain health? The study will compare the genomes of people who have reached old age with healthy brains against the genomes of those who have died from neurodegenerative diseases, with post mortem examination of brain tissue taking place at NeuRA’s Sydney Brain Bank. More information on the study can be found here. Will you please support dementia research and the 1,000 Brains Study and help drive the future of genetics research in Australia? https://youtu.be/q7fTZIisgAY
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