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Curtin research boost to create dementia prediction tool

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Curtin research to create a new digital tool identifying people at high-risk of dementia has been given a major boost thanks to a grant from the State Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.

Led by Professor Blossom Stephan from the Dementia Centre of Excellence at Curtin’s EnAble Institute, the project in collaboration with Dementia Australia, The University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University will attempt to build a predictive algorithm for dementia using both global and Australian data, including ‘The Busselton Healthy Ageing Study’.

Dementia is a leading cause of disability and death affecting more than 55 million people worldwide including an estimated 46,000 people in Western Australia and Professor Stephan said without a cure, preventative measures are paramount.

“While numerous dementia prediction models exist, none have been developed and tested using Western Australian data and targeted intervention is lacking,” Professor Stephan said.

“This project has the potential to create a greater public awareness of dementia and its risk factors and make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals affected by the condition.”

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Melinda Fitzgerald congratulated Professor Stephan and her team on the successful funding outcome.

“Insights gleaned from this project will be instrumental in shaping innovative strategies for dementia prevention and risk mitigation with the potential to deliver lasting personal, societal and economic dividends,” Professor Fitzgerald said.

The project ‘Dementia Risk Prediction and Risk Reduction in Western Australia: DEMRISK-WA’ is one of four successful recipients to share in $3 million in funding through the Western Australia Cohort Studies – Research Support Program.

The research will culminate in the development of an electronic ‘Healthy Brain Ageing Resource Pack’ to elevate public awareness of key modifiable risk factors associated with dementia.

For more information on the Western Australia Cohort Studies – Research Program and the 2024 round of funded research projects, see here.

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