Dementia Research News, Issue 25 - July 2019

Director's Report

Welcome to our post-Australian Dementia Forum edition of Dementia Research News. I'm so pleased to be writing to you following our successful event in Hobart, where 430 delegates met and examined the impact of dementia research on the wider community.

All of our forums have brought Australia’s dementia researchers together, leading to new collaborations and partnerships. They have all showcased the work underway as a result of the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative and provided the opportunity to hear from, and work briefly with, leading international researchers.

The Australian Dementia Forum 2019 however, surprised us all.  This year, the delegation reached a size and scale that meant people were reporting they simply didn’t have enough time to talk to everyone they wanted to talk to, and do everything they wanted to do.

The major highlight was the launch of the 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation by Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, in his first ministerial engagement for dementia research.

My sincerest thanks go to ADF2019 Convenor Associate Professor Anna King and the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre for collaborating with us to deliver the Forum. The fascinating two-day program was developed by Dr Maree Farrow, Dr Helen Courtney-Pratt, Dr Juanita Breen, Dr Kate-Ellen Elliott, Associate Professor Michele Callisaya, Dr Brad Sutherland, Associate Professor Lyn Goldberg and Louise Carnell from the University of Tasmania, with assistance from Dr Jane Thompson (NNIDR Board), Dr Annette Moxey (Dementia Australia) and Professor David Phillips (NHMRC). The ADF2019 Program Committee met fortnightly over 10 months to plan and execute this large-scale event.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Dementia Australia Ambassador Ita Buttrose AC OBE, Alzheimer's Disease International Chair Glenn Rees, Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe, dementia advocates John Quinn and Glenys Petrie and NNIDR Board Chair Professor Graeme Samuel for setting the scene in the opening session of the Forum program. Your time, effort and dedication to advocating for those living with dementia, furthering dementia research in Australia, and communicating the wonderful work undertaken through the Boosting Dementia Research Initiative is greatly appreciated by us all.

Finally, I hope everyone who attended ADF2019 had the opportunity to meet NNIDR's small and dedicated team, who made it all happen. From registration to evaluation, every aspect was beautifully organised. Alecia Slocombe, Bojana Kos, Pauline Gallacher, Stephanie Ellis, Ruth Horsfall, Georgina Kaveney, Robyn Clough and Samantha Croy all went to extraordinary lengths to ensure success.

In this edition, we're pleased to share an exciting update from the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration (DCRC) on their Capacity Building in Care Fellowship Program, the full list of ADF2019 Awardees, the latest in dementia research, and upcoming events.

There's a lot still in store for us all in the second half of 2019. I'm particularly pleased that the Alzheimer's Association International Conference Satellite Symposium will take place 26-27 September in Sydney. Abstracts and registrations are now open and I hope to see you all there!

Launch of the 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation

NNIDR is pleased to report that the 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation was launched by Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Senator Richard Colbeck at the opening of the Australian Dementia Forum.

Speaking in Hobart, Minister Colbeck noted the Strategic Roadmap’s focus on care and the opportunity to support people living with dementia in aged care facilities.

“Earlier diagnosis represents a real opportunity to make a positive impact for people living with dementia. […] More supported access to treatment can vastly improve quality of care, and help people to live well with dementia in the community.”

The 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation is the result of extensive consultation undertaken as part of the 2019 Strategic Roadmap Review. The Strategic Roadmap outlines the priorities for dementia research in Australia, and the vision, objectives and principles for NNIDR.

The 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research is accompanied by an Outcomes Statement, which outlines goals for the dementia research sector in adopting recommendations from the Strategic Roadmap.

The Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation is now available online.

Australian Dementia Forum 2019

Congratulations to our ADF2019 Awardees who communicated the impact of their research through oral and poster presentations. The standard of presentations was especially high this year and our judging committee had a difficult time fulfilling their duty. Well done all!

Best poster presentation by a student or early career researcher - by theme

Prevention

Cerebrovascular, cognitive and glycaemic benefits of long-term resveratrol supplementation in postmenopausal women
Dr Jay Jay Thaung Zaw, University of Newcastle

Intervention and Treatment

Motor deficits in a neurofilament knockout model of neurodegenerative disease
Dr Sharn Perry, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre

Assessment and Diagnosis

Behavioural clusters in dementia: A large cross-sectional Australian study
Dr Tom Morris, The Dementia Centre - HammondCare

Living with Dementia

Shining light on consumer and carer engagement to develop a dementia clinical quality registry
Ms Madeleine Gardam, Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Monash University

Care

The experiences of substitute decision makers supporting people with dementia
Mrs Sarah Cresp, Monash University

Highly commended - best oral presentation by a student or early career researcher

Effects of ageing, sex and menopause on total brain volume
Dr Stephanie Than, Monash University

Residential respite care with lower likelihood of using long-term care for people with dementia
Dr Stephanie Harrison, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Delusions in neurodegenerative disorders: insights into the prevalence, nature and neurocognitive mechanism
Dr Fiona Kumfor, University of Sydney

Best oral presentation by a student or early career researcher

Metformin use and risk of Alzheimer's disease among community-dwelling people with diabetes
Dr Janet Sluggett, Monash University

Best research presentation demonstrating impact

Promoting dementia awareness and prevention across the life course with Aboriginal communities
Dr Kylie Radford, Neuroscience Research Australia

Presentation by a public travel award recipient that best describes impact of their involvement in research

The benefits of long-term collaboration between research and advocate: support, respite and dementia (co-presented with Dr Lyn Phillipson)
Val Fell

National Public Lecture Tour

Many thanks to everyone who attended our National Public Lecture Tour events in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth held in March. The Tour, a vital outreach project for NNIDR, examined how to apply the latest dementia care research across all settings.

Our keynote speakers, Dr Vincent Mor (Brown University, United States), Dr Kate Laver (Flinders University), Dr Maria O'Reilly (Central Queensland University), Professor Leon Flicker (University of Western Australia) and Dr Helen Courtney-Pratt (University of Tasmania) shared their insights across occupational therapy, dementia care, aged care and dementia-friendly communities.

Panel members Professor Maria Crotty, Associate Professor Maria Inacio, Helen Radoslavich, Associate Professor Sally Bennett, Irene Russell, Dr Belinda Brown, Dr Penny Flett AO, Professor Felicity Baker, Dr Stephanie Ward, Professor Jenn Scott, Dr Shannon Klekociuk, Lisa Kelly, Professor Ralph Martins, Dr Craig Sinclair and Professor Dimity Pond, each considered ways in which to apply dementia care research at home and in the community and discussed the challenges improving dementia friendliness presented to the aged care sector and the wider community.

Dementia advocates Ann Pietsch (Adelaide), Tara Quirke (Brisbane), Wendy and Ian Silver (Perth), Isabelle Burke (Melbourne), Colleen McIntyre and Meg Skegg (Hobart), and Jeff Thurlow and Sebastian Caruso (Sydney) shared their invaluable perspectives on each topic around the country, as well as their unique experiences of living well with dementia. We greatly appreciate the time and effort it takes to educate the public about the realities of living with dementia. The input and insights of dementia advocates guide and continuously improve dementia research and practice.

Our sincerest thanks also go to our national team of convenors and facilitators Dr Hannah Keage and Dr Tobias Loetscher, Professor Elizabeth Beattie, Dr Andrew Ford and Dr Jeremiah Peiffer, Professor John McNeil, Dr Kate-Ellen Elliott,Dr Kathleen Doherty and Professor Henry Brodaty for successfully orchestrating the Tour and ensuring researchers and people living with dementia, their carers and families were presented with the latest in research.

A copy of Dr Vincent Mor's keynote lecture has been made available online. This recording was made at the University of Florida.

Registrations open for the AAIC Satellite Symposium in Sydney

As part of the year-round learning opportunities offered by AAIC, global researchers will discuss the latest findings and information around:

  • Brain health and dementia risk, including lifestyle and behavioral factors
  • Emerging therapeutics and developments in Alzheimer’s clinical research
  • The role of psychosocial, care and non-pharmacological interventions in Alzheimer’s and other dementias
  • Epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Advances in biomarkers, such as imaging and biofluids
  • Emerging areas of investigation
  • And much more.

The Satellite Symposium will feature keynotes from Australia including:

Professor Christopher Rowe, Professor Peter Schofield AO, Professor Colin Masters, Professor Juergen Goetz, Professor Perminder Sachdev, and Professor Ralph Martins.

Attend the AAIC Satellite Symposium to grow your professional network, hear from leaders in the field and learn the latest findings from poster sessions.

Visit the AAIC Satellite Symposium website to register and submit your abstract.

Fellow profile: Dr Alexandra Grubman

Dr Alexandra Grubman is like a determined detective, piecing together clues to understand the role of the brain’s immune cells, microglia, in Alzheimer’s disease.

Her fascination with these cells was sparked when she began to work in neuroscience and started reading about Alzheimer’s research in 2012, and microglia kept coming up.

“As I attended seminars and read papers, it seemed like every time an unbiased computational analysis was performed, microglia emerged as key players,” says Dr Grubman.

While Alzheimer’s research has long focused on how neurons die, Dr Grubman noticed growing evidence from mathematical analyses of large cohort studies that microglia were also vulnerable cells in Alzheimer’s.

“Microglia are known to change in Alzheimer’s, but this has mainly been looked at in terms of inflammation. I try to look broader, at the networks that control various aspects of microglial cell identity and at the part these cells play in maintaining and recycling our synapses, the connections between our neurons that are required for neuronal signalling and help us form memories,” she says.

Dr Grubman, an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow, was intrigued by research that showed what happened when microglial genes were turned off in Alzheimer’s mice. In half of the studies, the mice got better and in half of the studies, the mice got worse. At about the same time, a paper came out showing that microglia in the front of the brain were different to those in the back of the brain.

“That really got my attention, as the back of the brain is relatively resistant to Alzheimer’s pathology. So I thought that maybe some of these diverse microglia could be helpful and some could be harmful for Alzheimer’s.”

This set Dr Grubman on the path of investigating how to manipulate microglia to control their function so they can perform a protective role against Alzheimer’s, digesting unwanted amyloid build up, while maintaining strong synaptic connections between neurons.

The Fellowship enabled Dr Grubman to join Professor Jose Polo’s cutting-edge lab, which focuses on understanding cell identity and cell fate changes by studying the dynamics of reprogramming. The lab, at Monash University’s Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, is dedicated to unlocking the regenerative capabilities of the human body.

“Jose’s lab has a very unique way of looking at cells, really trying to understand the ‘soul of the cell’—studying cell identity in terms of networks of genes and how they are controlled, in order to change a cell’s fate,” Dr Grubman explains.

Ultimately, this means researchers could reprogram any cell into any other cell, or change diseased cells into healthy ones, by turning on the right genes. The Polo Group co-developed a special computer program that speeds up the traditional trial and error process of identifying the right genes to turn on out of the 100 billion possible combinations from 20,000 genes. Its algorithms compare known aspects of different cells and predict the controls or regulators that will make major changes for cell transitions.

“I got excited about applying this technology to Alzheimer’s because we still don’t really know what changes are happening at a single cell level in this disease. By understanding the identity and diversity of the cells, we can build hypotheses about why functional changes occur and predict the regulators that can be used to control these changes. We can then grow microglia or brain organoids from patient cells and test whether the regulators that our algorithms predict can take a dysfunctional microglia cell and change it into a functional one.”

Dr Grubman’s research also involves mouse models and use of post mortem tissue donated from the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

Among other things, she hopes the work will help build better models of the disease. “Because cells respond to their environment, cells grown in a dish are different to cells in the brain. So I thought we could use the computer program to erase the divide between the cells we study in a dish and the cells in the actual brains of Alzheimer’s patients.”

Through Dr Grubman’s Fellowship, world-class researchers in epigenetics, bioinformatics and computational biology have come together to apply their skills to Alzheimer’s.

“We collaborate as widely as we can. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by passionate, brilliant people who bounce off each other’s excitement. Every time you get new data, you need to reinterpret the old data in light of that. It’s exciting to take your next experiment from the results of your last one, to ask lots of questions that lead to the next thing.”

This fast-paced investigation chasing a cure for Alzheimer’s is exhilarating and rewarding work.

Capacity Building in Care Research Fellows announcement

The Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration (DCRC) is pleased to announce the 13 researchers that have been awarded the inaugural Capacity Building in Care Research (CBCR) Fellowship. The CBCR Fellowship Program aims to upskill early-to-mid career researchers working in the area of dementia care to improve their capacity to successfully compete for grant funding and become members of large, multidisciplinary research teams. CBCR Fellows are appointed for 2.5 years, and will receive mentorship from senior researchers, as well as training and skills development. Congratulations CBCR Fellows!

Kasia Bail

Kasia is a registered nurse and researcher interested in the complex intersection between ‘ageing well’ and ‘care delivery’. She is best known for her research on ‘the three most expensive health populations: hospitals, nurses and older people’. Kasia's thesis revealed that people with dementia have up to three times the rates of hospital-acquired complications compared to older people without dementia, and that these poor outcomes are related to nurse care rationing. These are potentially preventable societal, individual and economic costs that can be identified using the ‘failure to maintain’ framework for rates and costs of complications that she developed. Kasia's clinical background is in acute palliative care, and she continues to work occasional shifts at the local hospital and use these insights to contribute sharing, learning, inquiry and community-level problem-solving with health students, industry and professional groups.

Dr Jade Cartwright

Dr Jade Cartwright is a speech pathologist, clinical educator and researcher in the School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. Jade has focused her research on finding evidence for word finding, communication and psychosocial interventions for people living with dementia and their families. Jade is particularly interested in developing strategies to support people in the early stages of primary progressive aphasia, enabling proactive coping and continued life participation. Jade’s research has investigated the implementation and evaluation of Montessori-inspired models of care in residential aged care settings as a pathway to more person-centred care. Jade has also worked with an international team of researchers to develop use of Virtual Learning Environments to enhance interpersonal communication skills training for the care partners of people living with dementia.

Marita Chisholm

Marita is a Registered Nurse. She completed her PhD in 2016 entitled, ‘Access to dementia care and support services in rural Victorian communities: the experiences of people with dementia and their carers’. Since 2018, Marita has worked with the John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research, La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University – Bendigo Campus. Current dementia specific research includes access to dementia care and support services and volunteering and civic participation for people living with dementia. Marita’s future research focus is experience-centred dementia research within rural and regional communities with interests in dementia and selfhood; living well with dementia; volunteering and civic engagement opportunities for people living with dementia; and health professional communication.

Dr Erin Conway

Dr Erin Conway is a Senior Lecturer in Speech Pathology at the Australian Catholic University, in Brisbane. Her research interests and expertise relate to communication changes experienced in dementia, and the evaluation of treatments that aim to improve communication for people with dementia. Her research ultimately aims to improve access to evidence-based speech pathology services that will support communication for people with dementia. Dr Conway’s recent research has focused on the development and evaluation of treatment approaches including communication partner training for carers of people with dementia, and direct rehabilitation of word-retrieval in progressive aphasia. Dr Conway is also interested in the interaction between communication and quality of life, quality of care and quality of interpersonal relationships for people with dementia.

Amanda Fox

Amanda is a Senior Lecturer and the Postgraduate Course Coordinator in the School of Nursing, at the Queensland University of Technology. She is a Registered Nurse with a clinical background across a variety of settings both acute and community. Amanda’s research portfolio includes dementia and cognitive impairment care, health service delivery and advanced practice nursing roles. Her PhD thesis examined factors influencing sustainability of health service innovation, in particular emergency nurse practitioner services. Recent projects have examined health outcomes and access to allied health therapies for patients with dementia in acute care, cognitive impairment support, delirium prevention and educational initiatives that support Advanced Practice Nursing career pathways. Amanda values strong industry and consumer connections and the opportunity to contribute to the development of future generations of nurses to optimise nursing care. Amanda sits on the ANMAC Nurse Practitioner Accreditation Committee and the Queensland Health Advanced Practice Nurses Advisory Group.

Dr Jacki Liddle

Dr Jacki Liddle is an occupational therapist and research fellow at the University of Queensland. Her work focuses on how to support people living with dementia to continue to participate in their communities. She has an interest in supporting people with managing driving cessation (and was a founder of the CarFreeMe program), and managing life transitions related to ageing and health conditions -  including continuing to participate in roles and activities that are meaningful to them. She develops technologies to support people’s participation and to measure their health and wellbeing outcomes (including lifespace, a way of measuring community mobility and engaging using geolocation data). She is currently co-designing technology to support participation and communication as part of a multidisciplinary team with people living with dementia and their care partners.

Dr Margie MacAndrew

Dr Margaret MacAndrew has a joint appointment as Lecturer in the School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology and Knowledge Translation Research Fellow, Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration. Margaret is a registered nurse with experience in caring for people with dementia in long term care. Her research interests focus on improving quality of life and care for people with dementia who wander. She has trialled two behavioural interventions that aimed to reduce risky aspects of wandering and is currently conducting preliminary testing of a new assessment tool to help carers to identify risk associated with wandering and to plan care that focusses on promoting autonomy and safety.  To develop this research further, Margaret received a grant from the recent Dementia Australia Research Foundation grant round to revise and make recommendations on a standardised approach to reporting a missing person with dementia in Australia.

Dr Claudia Meyer

Dr Claudia Meyer is a Research Fellow at the Bolton Clarke Research Institute in Melbourne. Claudia combines her skills as an experienced physiotherapist with her research expertise, moving research into action for community-dwelling older people and their carers, specifically in the areas of equity in healthcare, falls prevention and dementia care. Her PhD (conferred in 2016) explored the translation of falls prevention knowledge for people with dementia and their carers in the Australian community care context, and she is currently working on several dementia related projects through Bolton Clarke (a large not-for-profit aged care provider). Claudia is also very active with the Australian Association of Gerontology, being a current Board Director, a longstanding member of the Victorian Executive committee and past National President of the Student and Early Career Group. She is the immediate Past President of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Council of Student Organizations, continuing to have an active role in the region as the Asia-Oceania representative.

Claire O'Connor

Claire O'Connor is a research fellow at the Centre for Positive Ageing, HammondCare, and conjoint lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW. She is also a registered occupational therapist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Claire holds a PhD in dementia (University of Sydney) that investigated behaviour and function in people living with frontotemporal dementia, and involved piloting an activity-based occupational therapy intervention with this unique cohort. Combining her clinical training in occupational therapy and research skills, Claire is passionate about contributing to research that is meaningful to people impacted by dementia. Claire's research interests include younger-onset dementia, reablement, rehabilitation, non-pharmacological interventions and animal assisted therapy. Claire is currently working on a research project evaluating an aged care home for homeless people in Sydney, among other projects.

Dr Maria O'Reilly

Dr Maria O’Reilly is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at CQUniversity, Bundaberg, and also a Visiting Fellow with the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration at Queensland University of Technology. An occupational therapist with over 30 years’ experience as a clinician, educator and researcher, her passion is ageing and living with dementia. Maria’s research has investigated a range of issues, including residential aged care, quality of life, rural health, and living well with dementia. She is currently leading a program of research on dementia-inclusive travel, which has led her to international collaborations as well as local engagement.

Dr Linda Schnitker

Dr Linda Schnitker is a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, School of Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse and she holds a Master in Advanced Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner specialising in aged care). Linda has an established research program focussed on the care of people with dementia in emergency departments (ED). Linda completed her Doctor of Philosophy Program at The University of Queensland in 2015. She developed quality indicators for the care of older people with cognitive impairment presenting to the emergency department. In 2014, she joined Professor Elizabeth’s Beattie’s research team at the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration: Carers and Consumers. Linda’s research primarily focuses on the care of older people with cognitive impairment (i.e. delirium, dementia) in emergency departments and Linda is dedicated to improve care for this vulnerable population.

Dr Karen Watson

Dr Karen Watson is an aged care clinician and academic focused on the care needs of older people in a variety of health settings. She is also a registered nurse with a background in naturopathy. Her research has examined complementary therapy interventions for the behavioural management of older people with and without dementia. Dr Watson is particularly interested in supporting the care needs of older people challenged by changes in cognition that can occur with healthy ageing and dementia.

Dr Watson is an adjunct research fellow with the MARCs Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Development, where she assisted the Time Travelling with Technology project team to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of Google Liquid Galaxy and web resources as an intervention for reducing behavioural and psychological symptoms of people with dementia. Her research interests include dementia care, healthy ageing, the aged care workforce, assistive technologies and complementary therapies. Dr Watson currently holds an undergraduate and postgraduate lecturer position with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where she coordinates and teaches aged care.

Dr Christine While

Dr Christine While (PhD, Grad Dip Dementia, BSc Hons Gerontology, RPN) is a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care at La Trobe University, Victoria and training consultant for Dementia Training Australia. Christine is a registered psychiatric nurse with extensive experience in the care of people with dementia and older adults with mental illness in the community. Christine’s research interest grew out of this clinical background and informed her recently completed PhD which explored the impact of community service provision on the meaning of home for people living with dementia and their co-resident family supporters. Her research interests include: environmental gerontology, person-centredness in care and research, knowledge translation and the care of people living with dementia.

Adam Martin - our Nyholm Youth Lecturer

Congratulations to NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow Dr Adam Martin, who has been awarded the 2019 Nyholm Youth Lectureship!

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute Nyholm Youth Lecture Series commemorates Sir Ronald Nyholm (1917-1971), an outstanding Australian researcher and passionate chemical educator. The lectures are aimed at Year 9 and 10 high school students across metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW. Nyholm Youth Lectures are practical and presented in an interactive, engaging manner.

Dr Martin will present 'How metal is keeping you alive' across NSW from June to August 2019. We wish you the best of luck, Adam!

Visit the Nyholm Lecture Series website for more information.

Wanted: New Members for NNIDR ECR/MCR accelerator working group

Over the past year, the NNIDR Accelerator Working Group has conducted a survey and set up a sponsorship program for NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellows, run several webinars, and organised an event for early- and mid career researchers at the fourth annual Australian Dementia Forum.

We are looking for new energetic members who want to support the building of the NNIDR early- and mid career research community. This is a commitment of 1-2 hours per month for a year, and a good opportunity to network and develop leadership skills.

Please email nnidr@nnidr.gov.au if you’re interested in contributing to the NNIDR Accelerator Working Group.

Looking for a new opportunity? Join our team!

We are currently seeking a full time Policy & Research Officer to complement our small team in Canberra.

The NNIDR Policy and Research Officer will ensure that the new research capacity and collaborative networks established through NNIDR are developed and maintained as a lasting legacy of the Federal Government’s Boosting Dementia Research Initiative.

The Policy & Research Officer will have a strong knowledge and understanding of dementia research, and be able to advise the best forms of support to strengthen and grow capacity in pre-clinical, clinical and translational dementia research.

Applications close 5pm AEST Wednesday 24 July 2019.

Click here for more information.

Call for EOIs - Establishment of a Community of Practice

The Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence is calling for Expressions of Interest from clinicians, researchers and other stakeholders across Australia who are interesting in establishing a national Community of Practice to explore dementia and medicinal cannabis.

The Community of Practice would work together to determine the initial key research and clinical questions around the safe use of medicinal cannabinoids as a therapeutic option for dementia and how these may be addressed with a view to translation from research into clinical application and/or government policy, as well as any other key potential outputs.

If you would like to express interest in being involved in the establishment of this Community of Practice, or require further information, please email ACRE-contact@newcastle.edu.au. Expressions of Interest are requested by Monday 8 July 2019. 

Current Funding Rounds

MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaborations (ICTC) Program PRC 2

The ICTC Grant Opportunity will provide support for Australian research teams to conduct clinical trial research in collaboration with international counterparts.  Applications to this grant opportunity must propose a single clinical trial that will promote Australian involvement in international collaborative investigator-initiated clinical trials research through the establishment and co‑ordination of clinical trial site/s in Australia; and provide high-quality evidence of the effectiveness of novel health treatments, drugs or devices in ‘usual care’ settings, which will support a decision on whether to deliver the intervention in an Australian setting. Novel health treatments include new and innovative applications of existing interventions. Minimum data due 31 July 2019.

Visit the NHMRC website for further information.

Partnership Projects PRC 2

This funding scheme provides funding and support to create new opportunities for researchers and policy makers to work together to define research questions, undertake research, interpret the findings and implement the findings into policy and practice. Minimum data due 31 July 2019.

Partnership Projects create partnerships among decision makers, policy makers, managers, clinicians and researchers. Partnership Projects answer a specific research question to influence health and well-being through changes in the delivery, organisation, funding and access to health services.

Visit the NHMRC website for further information.

National Institute for Health Research Collaborative Research Grants 2020 funding

The NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grants scheme (NHMRC-NIHR scheme) supports Australian participation and collaboration in leading international collaborative research through the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. The HTA Programme funds independent research about the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests.

Projects involving Australian researchers based in Australia that are chosen by the NIHR for funding, may be eligible for NHMRC support. Applicants will be required to outline the benefit of the research to Australia in their Research Proposal. NHMRC is supporting Australian researchers for several NIHR HTA research topics, including 18/189 Combination treatment for dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson's disease dementia. Applications close 26 July 2019.

Visit the NHMRC website for further information.

Upcoming Events

Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) | Los Angeles | 12-18 July 2019
International investigators, clinicians and care providers will gather at AAIC2019 to share the latest study results, theories and discoveries that will help bring the world closer to breakthroughs in dementia science.
For more information, visit the conference website.

Health Justice 2019 | Sydney | 24-25 September 2019

Health Justice 2019 will explore how practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, service providers and people relying on health and human services can work better together across policy, service design, evaluation and through community engagement to improve health and justice outcomes. Highlights will include measurement of outcomes across disciplines; building partnership capability to work collaboratively; and understanding the intersections of health and justice for people and the services that support them.

Visit the Health Justice 2019 website for more information.

The International Research Network on Dementia Prevention (IRNDP) Global Forum | Sydney | 14-15 October 2019

Abstracts are now open for the IRNDP Global Forum on Dementia Prevention in Sydney. The IRNDP is a multinational network bringing together researchers who are working to reduce the risk of dementia across the world. It is governed by an international leadership committee of dementia experts and a high level independent advisory board of academics, global opinion leaders and stakeholders. The aim of the IRNDP is to link researchers globally to foster new research and accelerate knowledge translation that will delay or prevent dementia worldwide. Abstracts close 1 July 2019Visit the IRDNP website for more information.

52nd Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Conference | Sydney | 5-8 November 2019
The 52nd annual AAG Conference will consider the theme 'Coming of Age Together: New Ways of Knowing and Acting'. Abstract submissions are now open. Visit the conference website for more information.

Useful References

New report shows economic burden of brain disorders in Australia over $74 billion pa
Mindgardens Neuroscience Network (Mindgardens)
Click here to read more.

Debate about birth of new neurons in adult brains extends to Alzheimer’s disease
Nature International Journal of Science
Click here to read more.

Rapid Review: The role of astroglia in Alzheimer's disease: pathophysiology and clinical implications
The Lancet Neurology
Click here to read more.

Webinar - Deciphering neurodegeneration: Inflammation, immune response, and Alzheimer's
Science Mag
Click here to view.

Reviewer Email: