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.
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.
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 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 (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.
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.
Dennis Frost was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia at age 59. In honour of Frontotemporal Awareness Week, he has shared with us some of the impacts the diagnosis has had on his life. Here, he discusses the worry of forgetting family history and what he can pass on to the next generation. How do we live on beyond our own mortality? We […]