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Invest in a future without dementia
Date:6/18/2008

Alzheimer's Australia today, released a report 'Australian Dementia Research' that recommends annual funding for dementia research be increased three-fold to $36 million in response to the growing economic and social impact of the dementia epidemic.

Prepared by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at the University of NSW, the report concludes that current investment over the last six years in dementia research was about $13 million, 0.6% of the total direct costs of the condition. It recommends investment in dementia research should be maintained at 1.5% of the direct cost of dementia to keep pace with the increasing costs of treatment and care.

By 2030, the total cost to the health care system of dementia is projected to rise to $8.2 billion and the number of people with dementia to double to more than 460,000.

The report concludes that dementia research in Australia is significantly under funded in relation to other chronic diseases. According to 2003 figures, dementia funding is 50% of research funding for cancer, relative to the current disease burden and 30% of research funding for cardiovascular disease, relative to current direct cost of care.

Professor Henry Brodaty, one of the authors of the report, said, "Australian dementia researchers have an excellent track record not withstanding inadequate funding for dementia research."

"The recent initiatives taken by the Federal Government in establishing three Dementia Collaborative Research Centres and a program of dementia grants are encouraging. However, investment in dementia research falls short of what is needed if more effective medical interventions are to be provided to the ever increasing number of people at risk of dementia or with a diagnosis of dementia", he said.

"There is a strong case for dementia to be recognised by the National Health and Medical Research Council as a National Health Priority Area."

Glenn Rees, Nat
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Contact: Kaylia Dunstan
61-407-232-212
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

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