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New funding boost for dementia-focused research at Curtin

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A new pilot clinical trial of a drug that aims to prevent further memory loss in people living with Alzheimer’s disease has been boosted by a $150,000 donation from MSWA to researchers at Curtin University.

The funded-research, which will be led by Professor John Mamo from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) based at Curtin University, will support one of the Institute’s goals to develop new treatments that help improve the outcomes for people living with neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

CHIRI Director Professor John Mamo said previous research suggested that more than 6.4 million Australians may be diagnosed with dementia within the next 40 years in the absence of a significant medical breakthrough or development.

“Neurological diseases such as dementia continue to have a significant impact on the older population. Our research hopes to support the National Dementia Strategy, which is aiming to achieve a five per cent reduction in people aged 65 and over,” Professor Mamo said.

“Our new trial was established based on encouraging results in mouse models of the disease, where we identified a historic drug once used to reduce risk for heart disease, which supports brain function and memory by preserving and restoring the integrity of microscopic blood vessels that are pivotal to brain function and health.

“I would like to thank MSWA for their significant and important contribution to this research. With the support from MSWA, we hope to commence recruitment for the pilot clinical trial in mid-2020.”

MSWA CEO Marcus Stafford said the organisation was very pleased to be able to fund this potentially significant initiative and help enable the important work of researchers at CHIRI.

“MSWA is very proud to partner with Curtin University to support the work of Professor Mamo and his colleagues at CHIRI,” Mr Stafford said.

“With the rates of dementia in the Australian population set to rise so significantly, their research will hopefully have an enormously positive impact on those not only living with dementia, but with other neurological conditions.”

Details of trial commencement will be made public on the CHIRI web portal here. Further information on CHIRI can be found online here.

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