In Australia, dementia is the leading cause of death for women and the second cause overall. Today, approximately 487,000 Australians are living with dementia and without a medical breakthrough, this number is expected to rise to around 1.1 million by 2058 according to Dementia Australia (2022).
While brain health is relevant at any age, it is particularly important from midlife onwards as changes in the brain begin decades before symptoms arise. Increasingly too, evidence is emerging that early dementia prevention strategies can slow and even prevent cognitive decline. It is imperative therefore to implement early clinical care with ongoing research to optimise patient outcomes. St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has ambitious plans to establish a new multidisciplinary, fully integrated dementia prevention clinic using translational research to inform and evolve both a prevention care model and our understanding of the disease. Headed up by Neurologists, Professor Bruce Brew AM, a leader and visionary in the field and Dr Elisheva Vissel, this new dementia prevention clinic will serve people at risk of all types of dementia.
While establishing this clinic model with Professor Brew, Dr Vissel is also undertaking a unique PhD with the aims of developing a personalised protocol for preventing progression from early memory impairment to dementia in persons at risk. Specifically, this protocol will aim to assess each person’s individual risk-factor profile and formulate a personalised prevention program to address it. This work will be undertaken in close collaboration with St Vincent’s international collaborative partners including Professor Richard Isaacson MD based at Florida Atlantic University. In the U.S. he pioneered a model of care for dementia prevention as Director of Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Service, New York.
We are grateful to all our donors who have supported the Brains Trust campaign for their generosity and understanding of this vital area of medicine and we are especially grateful to our Visionary donors, including Mr Peter Duncan AM and Pirtek, the Sutton Family, the JW & M Cunningham Foundation and the Dunbier family.
As part of our overall Brains Trust campaign, we are currently seeking support to raise funds for Dr Elisheva Vissel’s work. For more on how you can provide support, please contact Nicole Forrest-Green at the Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org or donate below.