Australia has some of the best and brightest dementia researchers in the world.
Meet some of our researchers, learn about why they got into the field, what they do and their insights into the future of dementia research.

This year, in recognition of World Alzheimer’s Day, the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation, with the support of Alzheimer’s Australia and KinCare, organised a dementia research panel discussion titled Quality dementia care – what do we value?

Presented by Dr Norman Swan, ABC Radio National's Health Report host, the panellists included:

  • Mr Trevor Crosby, Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Advisory Committee Member.
  • Dr Ron Petersen, Director, Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre and the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging.
  • Professor Susan Kurrle, Geriatrician and Director, Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre.
  • Professor Elizabeth Beattie, Director Dementia Collaborative Research Centre – Carers and Consumers.
  • Ms Therese Adami, Chief Operating Officer, KinCare.
  • Ms Maree McCabe, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer's Australia National.

READ – A fantastic summary article has been publised in the December 2016 Edition of Dementia News, which you can read here.

The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Episode Fifteen - August 2015.

The fifteenth episode in our series features Dr Erin Conway from the Australian Catholic University.

Erin was awarded the 2012 Hazel Hawke Research and Care Grant to see whether a specific speech pathology treatment to treat word-finding difficulties in conversation, can be used with the improve the quality of life of people with dementia.

Difficulty thinking of or remembering right words to use in a conversation is a common difficulty for people with progressive aphasia (language difficulties in dementia) and Erin is passionate about finding a solution for this. Her study aims to provide positive evidence for the use of speech pathology treatment in progressive aphasia and dementia.

The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Episode Fourteen - July 2015.

The fourteenth episode in our series features Dr Rebecca Nisbet from the Queensland Brain Institute, UQ.

Rebecca is an antibody engineer and was awarded an AADRF fellowship in 2013 to see discover, design and modify antibodies so they can bind to proteins involved in dementia pathology and potentially neutralise them.

Rebecca tells us why this research is important in assisting with finding a treatment or even a cure for dementia and tells us why she is interested in dementia research.

The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Episode Thirteen - June 2015.

The thirteenth episode in our series features Associate Professor Lee-Fay Low from the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney. Who was based previously at the University of NSW when this interview was undertaken.

Lee-Fay is a leading researcher in the field of dementia care. Her research interests include helping people with dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, looking into best community care practices for people with dementia, and non-pharmacological interventions in residential aged care facilities.

Lee-Fay works closely with Alzheimer's Australia NSW and is one of the expert grant reviewers for the Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation grants program.

Lee-Fay tells us more about getting research into practice and how research trials can be turned into something that can be used on a larger scale.

The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Episode Twelve - May 2015.

The twelfth episode, in our monthly series, features Professor Karen Sullivan, based at the Faculty of Health within the Queensland Institute of Technology.

Professor Sullivan has been awarded an AADRF research grant in 2002 and the Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care in 2009. She is specifically interested in conducting research which supports the needs of carers of people with dementia through evaluating and implementing best practice strategies.

We asked Professor Sullivan to tell us about her research area and what the outcomes of her research have been to date.

The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Episode Eleven - April 2015.

The eleventh episode, in our monthly series, features Dr Kim Kiely, based at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University.

Dr Kiely was awarded an 2013 Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation Postdoctoral fellowship to research how hearing and vision loss can co-occur with dementia symptoms. Dr Kiely's project will analyse a large international data set to to advance our understanding in this area.

We asked Dr Kiely to tell us about his fascinating area of dementia research and what outcomes might follow from his findings.

More about Dr Kiely's project can be found here.

This is a great scientific film with a 3D modeling made on the inner mechanisms of the brain implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease. It is taken from the LECMA Vaincre Alzheimer YouTube channel and produced by produced by Internationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (ISAO) (NL), Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) (D) and La Ligue Européenne Contre la Maladie d'Alzheimer (LECMA) (FR).

Check out this great short “pocket” film by David Shenk which explains how Alzheimer’s disease alters the brain in a clear and simple way. The animation calls for an understanding of the disease in order to reduce stigma and increase patience when caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Episode Ten - March 2015.

The tenth episode in our series features Marion Turnbull, PhD candidate based at the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland.

Ms Turnbull was awarded the 2013 AADRF PhD Top-Up Scholarship. Her research aims to see if a decrease in the availability of a class of chemicals in the brain called neurotrophins (which are observed in people with Alzheimer’s disease) are associated with the early stages of the development of plaques and tangles responsible for Alzheimer's disease symptoms.

In this episode we asked Ms Turnbull to tell us why she decided as a young researcher to get into dementia research and why she is passionate about finding a treatment or potential cure.

This 3D animation (developed by the CSIRO) takes you deep into the brain to understand how plaque build-up on brain cells occurs during Alzheimer's disease.

Video transcripts are available here: