Dementia research funding spurs call to action for Federal Government

5 Nov 2012

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at The University of Queensland has secured $2 million in research funding from the estate of Clem Jones, prompting advocacy group Alzheimer’s Australia to call on the Federal Government to follow their lead.

As Australia’s leading neuroscience research centre, QBI has welcomed the Clem Jones donation, a gesture Alzheimer’s Australia said must be furthered by Government funding.

“We are pleased to see this donation going towards much needed dementia research particularly in Queensland, however we remain concerned about the lack of increase in the level of investment from the Australian government and it is an issue that Alzheimer’s Australia will be pursuing nationally over the coming months in its Fight Dementia Campaign,” Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) CEO Victoria Beedle said.

“Queensland currently has more than 51,000 people living with dementia and without a major medical breakthrough that number is expected to soar to almost 215,272 by 2050, a 322% increase. The government has increased spending in some service areas for dementia but without the vital research for treatment or a cure we are facing numbers that our service systems around the country will not cope with,” Ms Beedle said.

QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett said the generous donation from the Clem Jones Estate had given their research efforts a vital boost.

“These funds will assist the Institute’s new Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CADR) – Australia’s only dedicated centre for ageing dementia research,” Professor Bartlett said.

“To build on the discoveries at QBI and to translate them into new therapeutic ways to prevent and treat dementia, the Centre still requires an additional $3 million per year over five years.”

Lead trustee of the Clem Jones Estate David Muir said they were proud to offer support to such vital research.

“Dementia research is compelling because each dollar spent will save exponentially on cost to the community and reduce reliance on the escalating need for the recurrent cost of spending by Government on future care,” Mr Muir said.

“Clem's gift is visionary in that he could see ‘over the horizon’ how pivotal research will be in curing brain damage for following generations of people.”