Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial


Waves of hope for dementia

Professor Jürgen Götz, Director, Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR) and his team are developing a ground-breaking therapeutic ultrasound approach to target dementia in their Scanning Ultrasound Research Program.

The need

Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. Almost half a million Australians live with dementia and this figure is expected to grow exponentially by 2050. Now Australia’s second biggest killer, it rivals cancer as the most feared health condition in the nation and the highest cause of death in women.

The goal

The key objective of this program is the development of a non-invasive and portable ultrasound therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders in outpatient settings.

The team has developed and fabricated the UltraTheraPilot trial-ready medical device that will initially be used to establish scanning ultrasound is safe in Alzheimer’s disease patients. This device has been developed as a platform device, which can be used to test the next-generation technologies under development within the CJCADR research team. 

Several ultrasound methods for a range of potential applications have been identified, including delivering drugs into the brain. The intention is to modify disease progression and ultimately cure brain diseases.

As CJCADR’s ultrasound device development progresses, pre-clinical research will continue in tandem to bring the next phase of technologies and applications online.

Our health impact

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, initiatives that focus on prevention and early intervention and timely diagnosis of dementia are particularly important given the long-term benefits they deliver.

A five per cent reduction in the annual incidence of dementia in persons aged 65 years or over would mean there would be 98,529 fewer people with dementia in 2036 and almost 261,000 fewer people by 2056 compared with the current projections. This would deliver total savings of $26.8 billion in the costs of dementia over the next 20 years and $120.4 billion by 2056.

Building our capacity to address dementia now will save billions in direct costs and lost productivity for years to come, as well as improving the quality of life of the millions of Australians who are in some way impacted by dementia.



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