Do dementia drugs work out West?

A new study in WA has received a grant from the NHMRC.

A group from Curtin University has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council grant to undertake a study of drug treatments and survival outcomes for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The project was awarded $180,970 over two years, and will use population health data to study patterns of care and outcomes for people with Alzheimer’s disease living in Western Australia.

The study, headed up by Dr Renate Zilkens, Research Fellow at the Centre for Population Health Research (CPR), part of Curtin University’s Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI).

“We need to increase our understanding of how many Australians are living with dementia,” Dr Zilkens said. “Present estimates are derived from meta-analysis of largely European studies.”

“Australian policymakers also lack details on how Australians with dementia are managed within the healthcare sector, making strategic health care planning problematic.

“The study will examine the use of prescription drugs, the survival experience from time of first supply of Alzheimer’s medication and the identification of inequalities in accessing medications.”

According to a statement from the university, the research will provide data that is critical for strategic, sustainable healthcare planning and the development of dementia-specific healthcare.

Western Australians with Alzheimer’s disease will be identified through prescription records of Alzheimer’s medications in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) database. Each person’s PBS records will be linked to their hospital and, if available, death record. No personal identification data will be released to researchers. 

Hospital and medication usage will be studied from when the subjects commenced taking Alzheimer’s medication. By linking health data, the study will show how long Australians live (on average) with the disease after starting on the medication. 

The project previously received funding from Alzheimer’s Australia in the form of a $90,000 research fellowship, with Curtin University contributing an equal amount in a matched –funding arrangement. 

Tags: aged-care, ageing, alzheimers, alzheimers-disease, alzheimers-drug, alzheimers-drug-trial, centre-for-population-health-research, curtin-health-innovation-research-institute, curtin-university, dementia, dementia-drug, dementia-drug-study, dementia-research, nhmrc-grant, renate-zilkensalzheimers-australiapharmaceutical-benefits-scheme,

Leave a Reply