DEMENTIA

Summary

On 7th August 2015, Australia Minister for Health Sussan Ley introduced a three-pronged approach promotes and support dementia research in the attempt to discover new treatments, care-models and ways of stopping the debilitating disease. She announced $35.6 million for six Dementia Research Team Grants and this includes the biggest dementia clinical trial in the whole world for individuals aged between 55 – 75 to examine an online tool to minimize the peril of dementia, together with projects that are aimed show early warning signs of non Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s disease dementias earlier. This is important given that the number of Australians living with dementia is anticipated to increase to more than one million people as pointed out by Ms Ley. Australian researchers will also have the chance to collaborate on priorities, instead of competing against each other. The teams will be funded based on 5 key research important areas which reflect on the priorities of individuals with the disease and their carers. Ms Ley also declared that Alzheimer’s Australia was the winner of the contract to establish and run the National Health and Medical Research Council’s $50 million National Institute for Dementia Research. This establishment shows the Government’s dedication in boosting dementia research in the country and will categorically ensure better integration with the international research, together with a focus for a fast evidence translation from paper to policy and practice. Ms Ley released the National Dementia Research & Translation Priority Framework that has the national dementia priorities. All the stakeholders were involved the finalization of the priorities. The priorities research into; prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and improving dementia patients’ lives. The $200 million boost by the Australian government will contribute to the World Dementia Council’s target of realizing a 5 year delay in dementia’s onset by 2025.

 

Personal Reflection

Dementia has been described as a global disaster in waiting and the biggest healthcare problem of our generation. Statistically, for every four seconds, someone is diagnosed with dementia and these cases are projected to increase from 44 million currently to 135 million by 2050 (Halle, et al. 2015). Ministers from the G8 significant economies have already pledged to deal with this devastating disease. Each year, the world already spends $604bn on the disease but we still don’t have a cure for this devastating disease. It is clear that more evident that more research needs to be done. It is commendable that the Australian government has taken the initiative of changing this hurting situation by funding projects that aim at discovering the cure, care models, and how to prevent the disease which I believe are the key points if we are to win this fight.  It is clear that Alzheimer’s drugs, bapineuzumab and solanezumab are not working (Swinton, J. 2012). Governments should not be left behind as this is a big concern dementia will become the biggest problem in the healthcare systems all over the world.. The Australian government has shown the at least what is expected from governments.

Dementia research is crucial as the number of people with the disease is anticipated to increase in the couple of years coming (Miller, C. A. 2012). It is also important that the different teams that are involved in research to collaborate in priorities, instead of competing against one another. If researchers all over the world can be funded and they can share information freely, I believe a cure shall be discovered together with the appropriate care-models and ways of prevention of dementia. If all governments can demonstrate their dedication like Australia, we shall definitely achieve the five year delay on dementia’s onset by 2025.

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