Jeanne Little Alzheimer’s Research Fund launches

The daughter of television performer Jeanne Little has announced the establishment of an Alzheimer’s research fund in honour of Jeanne, who is living with the disease.

The Jeanne Little Alzheimer’s Research Fund will directly support research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), one of Australia’s foremost brain research institutes.

Jeanne LittleTelevision celebrity Jeanne Little is living with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Mum always poured so much energy into supporting many charities,” says daughter Katie Little Poulton. “I know she’d love this research fund. She would be thrilled to know she’s still helping people even when she can’t get out there and do it herself.

“Can you imagine what she would be saying? It would be like ‘Daaarlings! You’ve just got to help!'”

Over 200,000 Australians are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This figure is set to rise in coming years as the population ages.

Prof Peter Schofield, Executive Director of NeuRA, commends Jeanne’s family for their courage in sharing Jeanne’s diagnosis with the public and for establishing the fund.

“Many Australians like Jeanne and her family are having to cope with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s,” he says. “We are passionate about finding better treatments and a cure for this terrible disease. The Jeanne Little Alzheimer’s Research Fund will help us continue this important work.”

NeuRA approaches Alzheimer’s from multiple angles. “We search for causes at a population level, we work with individual patients to better understand symptoms, and we also look what’s happening in the brain, and the role of genes in the disease,” says Prof Schofield.

Current projects on Alzheimer’s disease/dementia at NeuRA include:

  • the role of genes that cause Alzheimer’s (young onset) and other dementias
  • the cause of higher rates of dementias in Aboriginal Australians
  • MRI research on childhood trauma and its relation to later onset dementia
  • Translating research results into Alzheimer’s/dementia education for the community