More than a Cure: Celebrating 25 Years of Impact in dementia research.


Dementia Australia celebrated 25 years of supporting researchers to explore innovate and advance the field of dementia research, marking this landmark through the release of its More than a Cure: 25 Years of Impact report.

Dementia Australia Research Foundation Chair and Dementia Australia Patron Professor Graeme Samuel AC said the Foundation had spent 25 years funding revolutionary projects to expediate medical breakthrough and to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

“During this time, they’ve enhanced our understanding of dementia at a cellular level and have developed models of care that are improving life for people living with dementia and their carers,” Professor Samuel said.

“Dementia Australia Research Foundation funds researchers across all stages of their career but maintain a particular focus on supporting Australia’s talented new and early career dementia researchers. A recent survey of grant recipients over the past 25 years found that 75 per cent were still working in dementia research and 97 per cent had mentored new researchers in the field.”

One of the researchers whose career was supercharged when she received funding from Dementia Australia Research Foundation, is Dr Rachel Buckley, who was awarded a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2014.

Dr Buckley said the Fellowship was a huge step in her research career, which has ultimately led to her running her own laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is Harvard University’s largest teaching hospital.

It’s in this lab, in the Department of Neurology, where Dr Buckley is producing cutting-edge research on how dementia impacts men and women differently.

“We’re one of the first groups to show that women are very different to men in their risk for pathology,” Dr Buckley explains.

“We’ve found over and again that older women show much higher levels of tau, a brain protein that becomes toxic in dementia.

“Our most recent finding is that even middle-aged women have higher levels of tau, which we think is related to menopause. The use of hormone therapy may have a dual role in reducing or increasing the risk of dementia.”

Professor Samuel said the Dementia Australia Research Foundation’s work wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of donors large and small.

“All funding for Dementia Australia Research Foundation is donated by members of the public and by private and philanthropic organisations. Thank you to everyone who has donated over the past 25 years,” Professor Samuel said.



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