Every day, 244 Australians are diagnosed with dementia. Dementia not only affects memories, it changes people: the way they think and behave, and their ability to perform everyday tasks.

Dementia can affect anybody.

Without a medical breakthrough, more than 1.1 million are expected to be diagnosed with dementia by 2056, costing the economy an estimated $36.8 billion.

While there is currently no cure for dementia, UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute is delivering many reasons to remain hopeful.

In 2015, QBI’s Professor Jürgen Götz and Dr Gerhard Leinenga made a game-changing discovery. Results published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed that scanning ultrasound could be used to penetrate the blood brain barrier – a layer that usually prevents drugs from the bloodstream entering into the brain – and remove toxic amyloid beta plaques that build up in Alzheimer’s disease. In some cases, the technique cleared the plaques completely, restoring memory function.

Last month, further research at QBI showed that using ultrasound scanning along with an antibody drug significantly increased the amount of drug delivered to the brain. The combination approach was more effective than either treatment alone in removing protein clumps and reducing Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice. The same ultrasound technique could potentially be used to treat other conditions such as Parkinson's and MS more effectively.

This non-invasive treatment shows great promise as a safe and cost-effective treatment for dementia. It could save more than $120 billion by 2056*. More importantly, it could change the lives of millions of people across the world.

To accelerate this research to clinical trial, there are a number of hurdles we need to overcome, and you can help. By donating to QBI research you will help us expedite the process and ensure that pioneering dementia research can continue to be led by Australia.

We need your help. Please donate to this promising research, and share this with your friends. Together we can find a cure.

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Pankaj Sah, Director
Queensland Brain Institute
University of Queensland 

 

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 *The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling NATSEM (2016) Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056


 

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