Faculty of Health

Support for further study into dementia

Dementia research at the University of Tasmania has received $100,000 in grants to support the work of two Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre researchers.

Lecturer Dr Jenna Ziebell received a $50,000 Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Project Grant, to investigate the role of inflammatory cells in the brain in regulating the connections between nerve cells in dementia.

A $50,000 grant was also received by lecturer Dr Claire Eccleston, to research the community’s knowledge of dementia.

A Plants Management- Whetman Pinks Project Grant made possible by donations from the sale of Dianthus ‘Memories’ flowers, which were bred to support Alzheimer’s research, the funding will support an 18 month investigation into the dementia knowledge and related education needs of communities across urban and rural Tasmania.

Dr Eccleston said the funding would play a vital role in the research into community knowledge of dementia.

“The funding will allow us to travel across Tasmania, particularly to rural and regional communities, to survey a wide range of people about dementia,” she said.

“In this way, we can find out what people do and don’t know about important issues related to dementia such as the causes and characteristics of the condition, how to care and communicate with people living with dementia, and how to manage your personal risk of getting dementia.

“We can discover what they feel are their education needs in relation to dementia, and how they would prefer to learn more about the condition.”

Dr Eccleston said the research would form part of a broader work aimed at understanding and supporting dementia literacy and the development of dementia friendly communities.