National Dementia Network to Fast-Track Cures

Summary media release information

Date: 
02 July 2018
Type: 
Media Release
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Australia’s quest to find cures and prevent and better manage dementia will be turbocharged by the new Australian Dementia Network (ADNet), including memory centres and a registry of clinical trial volunteers to fast-track research.

Australia’s quest to find cures and prevent and better manage dementia will be turbocharged by the new Australian Dementia Network (ADNet), including memory centres and a registry of clinical trial volunteers to fast-track research.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM said the Turnbull Government’s $18 million investment in the Australian-first project would be bolstered by a further $20 million in commitments from universities, philanthropists, industry, research centres and State governments.

“This is the accelerator we need to win the race against dementia,” Minister Wyatt said.
“It’s estimated 1,700 Australians a week are joining the population living with dementia and without breakthroughs in beating this disease, that figure will reach 650 a day by 2050.

“Dementia is already the biggest killer of Australian women and the second most common cause of death among the overall population, claiming more than 13,000 lies each year.”

ADNeT will:

  • Establish a national network of memory clinics to speed assessment of cognitive disorders and improve specialist access for all Australians, through advanced imaging, genetics and lifestyle data
  • Register and prepare volunteers for participation in clinical trials and other research programs, by providing them with state of the art diagnosis and tracking their disease trajectory
  • Collate and compare data to chart dementia causes, progression and risks and potential new treatments, while supporting research participants and benchmarking clinical care
  • Ensure Australian and international data can be shared, providing unprecedented research access to global data and collaboration, to inform prevention, treatment and care.

“Through ADNeT, Australia joins the international push to use large-scale national registries to expedite research and beat dementia,” said Minister Wyatt.

“ADNet will lift the standard of Australian dementia diagnosis and care, with a coordinated and consistent approach.

“By significantly increasing public access to, and participation in, clinical trials it will also speed the development and approval of new prevention and treatment therapies.”

ADNet will drive research and deliver improvements through five core teams - Registry, Clinics, Trials, Technology and Business - with close links to leading international programs in Europe and the USA.

“ADNeT means Australia will be a strong contributor to, and an early beneficiary of, the worldwide search for dementia treatments and cures,” the Minister said. 

“At present, an estimated 425,000 Australians are living with dementia. The potential power of ADNet is our best hope of preventing that number reaching more than one million by 2050.”

Professor Christopher Rowe of Austin Health will lead ADNet, as Chief Investigator.

ADNeT is the largest single project funded to date through the Government’s $200 million, five-year Boosting Dementia Research Initiative launched in 2014 by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

A recent progress report on the first three years of the initiative highlighted Australia’s global leadership in several spheres of dementia science.

The 2018 Federal Budget funding includes a further $5.3 million to conduct a dementia innovation trial.

Since 2015, NHMRC’s National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) has been targeting, coordinating and translating the strategic expansion of dementia research in Australia.

NNIDR is committed to achieving the World Dementia Council’s international target – a five-year delay in the onset of dementia by 2025.

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449


Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.