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Dementia research projects receive local funding

Research | Newsroom

Seven new dementia research projects, from how comedy can help promote brain health to establishing a dementia risk profile in Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in Tasmania, has received local funding.

Over $20,000 was raised during the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre’s most recent giving appeal. The initiative raises funds to support the Wicking Centre’s research and education programs.

Held annually, the 2021 appeal featured Rowena Howard and her father Roger. Rowena’s father, Roger, has Alzheimer’s Disease and she has documented her family’s journey with dementia in a series of short films to highlight the need for more support for those living with dementia and their caregivers.

Rowena, her husband Grant and her father Roger recently visited Wicking to meet with some of the successful recipients from the appeal.

Successful projects in the latest Wicking appeal include:

  • “A unit dedicated to dementia in Indigenous peoples in the online Dementia Care Degree Program” (Lyn Goldberg, Clair Andersen, Jennifer Evans, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Tanya Schramm, Claire Eccleston).
  • Development of an advisory group to identify participant recruitment strategies for establishing a dementia risk profile in Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in Tasmania (Mohammad Shoaib Hamrah, Larissa Bartlett, Sunny Jang).
  • “Now this is an exciting project. Exciting tools to excite neurons will excite students.” (Sharn Perry, Lyzette Matthews, Jan Leng Cheng, Tony Cook)
  • “Laughter ISLAND: Using comedy to promote brain health and dementia risk reduction behaviours.” (Alison Canty, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Helga Merl and Sam Poulson)
  • “Sniffing out Dementia: Olfactory dysfunction in an ‘at-risk’ group of older Tasmanians.” (Samantha Bramich, Jane Alty, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Leah Beauchamp)
  • “The design and development of a guide for medical health practitioners to facilitate the discussion and diagnosis of dementia within Tasmanian minority ethnic communities.” (Sunny Jang, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Hoang Nguyen, Helga Merl, Katharine Salmon, Mohammad Shoaib Hamrah, Yashi Koirala)
  • “Microglial phenotypes as a risk factor for dementia – how we can begin to decipher and reprogram the immune cells of the brain to improve outcomes.” (Jenna Ziebell, Yasmine Doust)