Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) researchers received $2.6 million in grant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council as part of an international collaboration to identify the genes involved in dementia.
Announced today by Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley, this grant will allow CHeBA researchers, led by Co-Director Professor Perminder Sachdev, to run two Australian studies which will be part of the European Union Joint Programme for Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND). As one of the world’s largest neurodegenerative research programmes, the JPND includes a number of consortia of international collaborators to identify risk and protective factors for neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, as well as trialling advanced experimental models.
“These two major studies will focus on understanding the genetic basis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” Professor Sachdev said. “Understanding the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease is one of the best ways of improving our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of disease development.
“We know that genes play a major role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but we have only identified genes that account for less than half of the genetic risk of developing this disease.
“This funding will allow us to more effectively understand the ‘missing’ heritability and identify the genes involved in dementia. It will also enable us to partner with large European research consortia, thereby greatly enhancing the power of the investigations.”
Having already led a number of international consortia, Professor Sachdev says CHeBA is in an excellent position to make a worldwide difference to understanding dementia for improved outcomes in prevention, earlier diagnosis, and earlier and more effective interventions. Findings from the two most recent studies will also contribute to CHeBA’s latest initiative, The Dementia Momentum, which aims to drive momentum in awareness, research and societal change around dementia incidence for a brighter future.
Richard Grellman AM, Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum said CHeBA’s focus on international collaboration inspired promise for the future outcomes of dementia research.
“CHeBA is at the forefront of international research in dementia. This partnership provides an important platform for CHeBA to continue its very important work in understanding dementia to improve outcomes not just for Australians, but internationally.”
CHeBA's genetics research team: Professor Perminder Sachdev, Professor Henry Brodaty, Associate Professor Wei Wen, Dr Karen Mather, Dr Anbu Thalamuthu and Dr Nicola Armstrong (Murdoch University).