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NeuRA’s dementia researchers receive major funding boost

The push to find answers to the increasing dementia epidemic intensified today with NeuRA’s Prof Glenda Halliday receiving $6.5 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Her research team will focus on new detection methods and pilot novel treatments for frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.

“While these dementias are considered only a small population of the dementias, up to a third of those clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s actually have these forms of dementias, but the symptoms are very similar,” said Prof Halliday.

“This funding will allow us to improve diagnostic detection of non-Alzheimer’s disease forms of dementia, which are commonly under-recognised or misdiagnosed,” she said.

“Following families with these dementias will help us to identify more-clearly non Alzheimer’s dementias using new techniques. This will enable clinicians and families to know what they may expect to happen.”

In announcing the grants, Minister for Health Sussan Ley, launched a three-pronged approach to support and promote dementia research in the search for new treatments, models of care and ways of preventing the debilitating disease. This will ensure Australia’s dementia research remains at the forefront of international best practice. The six grants, totalling $35.6 million, are a part of the Federal Government’s $200 million commitment to dementia research and will allow teams of researchers to collaborate and focus on the effective translation of research over the next five years.

In addition to Prof Halliday’s grant, NeuRA’s Assoc Prof Tim Karl is a co-Chief Investigator on another of the dementia research grants led by Assoc Prof Ian Blair of Macquarie University. UNSW’s Scientia Prof Henry Brodaty was also awarded a team grant.