“Healthy ageing is your mind staying young”. Many Australians would agree with this statement by an older Aboriginal participant in the Koori Growing Old Well Study (KGOWS). With increasing lifespan, healthy ageing is becoming synonymous with healthy brain ageing and dementia prevention is being recognized as a national and global priority.
There are growing numbers of older Aboriginal Australians, but recent research at NeuRA has found that dementia prevalence in three times higher in Aboriginal peoples compared to estimates for the general Australian population. This disparity in dementia rates is a consistent finding across remote, regional and urban communities.
Aboriginal Elders play vital roles in their communities and further research is required to understand the causes of these higher rates of dementia, reduce the burden of dementia and improve health and longevity for Aboriginal Australians, as they grow older.
Current research projects at NeuRA include: (i) a longitudinal study to investigate the major causes and risk factors for dementia in this population (KGOWS-II) and (ii) a mixed methods project to examine Aboriginal perspectives on healthy brain ageing and develop/evaluate novel, culturally appropriate programs to prevent cognitive decline (Koori Active & Healthy Ageing Project). NeuRA also has an ongoing commitment to translate research into practice with Aboriginal communities through the Koori Dementia Care Project.
Prof Tony Broe and Dr Kylie Radford talk about their research into dementia prevalence in Australia’s indigenous population. One of our recent studies has shown that dementia prevalence in Indigenous Australians, aged over 60, is three times higher than the overall Australian population. What is it that helps one person age successfully and cause another to develop age-related diseases like […]