19 November 2014

Queensland Science Minister Ian Walker MP has announced a prestigious $2.5M philanthropically funded international fellowship at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute to tackle stroke-induced dementia.

Queensland Science Minister Ian Walker MP has announced a prestigious $2.5M philanthropically funded international fellowship at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute to tackle stroke-induced dementia.

The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation made the donation to fight stroke-induced dementia, also known as vascular dementia.

“It is an insidious and terrible affliction, often creeping up on people,” Minister Walker said.

“In many cases, it is caused by a series of small strokes so tiny that people do not even notice.

“The fellowship will be advertised internationally with the successful applicant due to start early next year.”

QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett said it is of vital importance to understand this particular type of dementia, as it is the cause for around 40 per cent of dementias.

“This is another wonderful addition to our dementia initiative,” Professor Bartlett said.

“The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation’s generous contribution will allow us to heavily invest into this side of dementia and establish a laboratory dedicated to solving this problem.

“Stroke-induced dementia occurs due to  ‘mini’ and ‘silent’ strokes, which often show little or no sign of occurring – and usually happen more than once, resulting in massive damage.

“This isn’t to be confused with Alzheimer’s disease, which is caused by the cumulative effect of cellular death over a far greater length of time.

The donation provided by The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation will provide $500,000 per annum over five years to recruit a laboratory with a Senior Research Fellow In Stroke-Induced Dementia.

Mr Paul Brotchie, a Trustee of the Foundation, said it was established in 2013 following the death of Moyna Fox, and named in honour of her late husband, James Stafford, a former BP Australia chief executive.

“We’re delighted to fund this project because it exemplifies our funding criteria,” Mr Brotchie said.

“It’s good to see such fine research putting Queensland and Australia at the forefront of world medical research.”

The new staff will be closely aligned with the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR), a dedicated centre housed within QBI, whose researchers are focussed on understanding the mechanisms, as well as the prevention and treatment, of dementia.

Media: Mikaeli Costello, +61 401 580 685 or mikaeli.costello@uq.edu.au.