20 August 2012

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at The University of Queensland has secured $2 million in research funding from the estate of Clem Jones, prompting advocacy group Alzheimer’s Australia to call on the Federal Government to follow their lead.

As Australia’s leading neuroscience research centre, QBI has welcomed the Clem Jones donation, a gesture Alzheimer’s Australia said must be furthered by Government funding.

“We are pleased to see this donation going towards much needed dementia research particularly in Queensland, however we remain concerned about the lack of increase in the level of investment from the Australian government and it is an issue that Alzheimer’s Australia will be pursuing nationally over the coming months in its Fight Dementia Campaign,” Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) CEO Victoria Beedle said.

“Queensland currently has more than 51,000 people living with dementia and without a major medical breakthrough that number is expected to soar to almost 215,272 by 2050, a 322% increase. The government has increased spending in some service areas for dementia but without the vital research for treatment or a cure we are facing numbers that our service systems around the country will not cope with,” Ms Beedle said.

QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett said the generous donation from the Clem Jones Estate had given their research efforts a vital boost.

“These funds will assist the Institute’s new Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CADR) – Australia’s only dedicated centre for ageing dementia research,” Professor Bartlett said.

“To build on the discoveries at QBI and to translate them into new therapeutic ways to prevent and treat dementia, the Centre still requires an additional $3 million per year over five years.”

Lead trustee of the Clem Jones Estate David Muir said they were proud to offer support to such vital research.

“Dementia research is compelling because each dollar spent will save exponentially on cost to the community and reduce reliance on the escalating need for the recurrent cost of spending by Government on future care,” Mr Muir said.

“Clem's gift is visionary in that he could see ‘over the horizon’ how pivotal research will be in curing brain damage for following generations of people.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ashleigh Stallard, BBS (for QBI)
07 3221 6711/ 0419 785 410

Queensland Brain Institute and CADR www.qbi.uq.edu.au

The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) was established as a research institute of The University of Queensland in 2003. QBI is one of the largest neuroscience institutes in the world dedicated to understanding the mechanisms underlying brain function.
The Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CADR) is Australia’s only dedicated centre for ageing dementia research, established within QBI in early 2012. The Centre’s inaugural director is Professor Jürgen Götz.

About Dementia

Dementia is a broad term to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning, with Alzheimer’s disease the most common form of the illness, accounting for between 50-70 per cent of all dementia cases in Australia.
It is the third leading cause of death in Australia after heart disease and stroke, with one in four people over 85 suffering from the condition. There is no known cure.
Almost 280,000 Australians currently live with dementia – a figure which is set to rise to almost one million people by 2050, according to Alzheimer’s Australia. The projected cost is set to be $83 billion, and will represent around 11 per cent of the nation’s health and residential aged care sector budget by 2060, without a significant medical breakthrough (Access Economics, 2009).