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International Dementia Expert Visits Australia
Posted by Marketing on February 17, 2015


To date, no cure or effective treatment for dementia exists, nor is there a way to prevent it from developing. Researchers worldwide are working on finding effective treatments for the disease. Much of this work focuses on Alzheimer’s disease, which is by far the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases.

There are more than 332,000 Australians living with dementia. This number is expected to increase by one third to 400,000 in less than ten years, and without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to be almost 900,000 by 2050. This forecasted sharp rise made dementia care one of Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc.’s (SCC) strategic pillars over the coming years.

Medication can reduce the symptoms and improve quality of life of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. However, medication cannot cure the disease or stop the progress.

A number of different treatment options are in the early stages of research, including:

•          Alzheimer’s vaccine and immunotherapy

•          Gene therapy

•          Targeting beta-amyloid production

•          Current clinical trials

These treatments are currently not publicly available, but could potentially play a role in finding effective treatment, and eventually a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

International dementia expert, Dr Dennis Gilling recently visited Australia to meet with government, agencies and other relevant representatives. Dr Gillings, who was appointed by the G7 group of nations, wants to bring Australia into the global club.

“That’s one of my prime messages here,” Gillings said. “We have a number of countries involved in our global initiatives and programs and we want Australia to be a very strong part of that.”

Dr Gillings would like political leaders to act as advocates and help generate interest in the area. According to him, a much better understanding of the brain is necessary to have a better chance of finding a cure. He said that more basic research is necessary, so that the pharmaceutical industry knows which areas in the brain to target.

Dr Gillings spoke to Aged Care Insite to discuss exciting international and domestic efforts, as well as three key global dementia challenges and the source for his passion for the area.

To listen to the full interview with Dr Dennis Gillings, check out the Aged Care Insite website.



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