The Peter Hilton Research Fellowship in Ageing Dementia has been established in honour of the late Peter Hilton by his wife Robyn.
“Peter (above) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in February 2000, at the age of 66 after retiring from his career in law,” Mrs Hilton said.
Mrs Hilton, like many touched by dementia, says the impact of the diagnosis is profound.
“Some time after the initial shock of the diagnosis, you start to feel helpless because there’s no known cure, there’s no timetable for the inevitable cognitive decline, there’s little effective medical treatment,” she said.
Mrs Hilton says dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is very much a matter of “feeling your way in the fog”.
“Each case is unique, depending on the type of dementia, the personality of the sufferer, which part of the brain is primarily affected.”
The Peter Hilton Research Fellowship will support an outstanding early-career researcher over a period of five years based at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CADR).
The primary role of the Peter Hilton Research Fellow will be to explore the interface between biological and physical research in memory and learning, how these functions are disrupted in dementia, and develop procedures to test and manage these dysfunctions.
“I knew QBI was conducting valuable research into brain diseases, including dementia.
“To have a centre dedicated to researching ageing dementia highlights the obvious need for research in this field,” Mrs Hilton said.
“After attending the opening of the Centre in February this year I felt it was a cause I could commit to, and one I know Peter would have supported.”
“To this end, I’m delighted that the Peter Hilton Research Fellowship has been established.”
Mr Hilton died in June 2011 from complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease.