With the prevalence of dementia predicted to continue to increase, it is a major health, economic and social issue. In Australia, there are over 400,000 people living with dementia, and numbers are expected to rise to over 900,000 by 2050. Dementia is currently the main cause of death of women, and the second leading cause of death overall. The impact of dementia on families, health and care workers, and the economy is profound. The Dementia Research Flagship brings together dementia researchers from across the College to intensively focus our attention and resources on this major public health issue of the 21st Century.
The dementia flagship benefits from the expertise of the well-established Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre (the Wicking Centre) which is at the forefront of translational research and support for issues confronting people with dementia and their carers. The research program of the Centre is aligned to three major themes - the Care, Prevention and Cause of dementia. These themes are all pursued with highly interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations with partners in other areas of the University, the community, health care system and industry. Research in the Wicking Centre continues to grow and develop; attracting increasing levels of funding, top-quality people and generating exciting new approaches to translational dementia research.
With excellent dementia-focused research also located in other areas of the College it was clear an opportunity existed to bring together all these talented researchers to form a dementia flagship. This will mean increased opportunities for strategic and interdisciplinary research collaborations and will even further strengthen the College’s global standing at the forefront of dementia research.