Louise Miller-Frost, the Federal MP for Boothby, recently paid a visit to the Childhood Dementia Research Group at FHMRI Flinders University. During the visit, Ms Miller-Frost discussed the pressing need for developing treatments for the 1/2800 children born in Australia each year who will develop inherited, untreatable forms of dementia.
The Childhood Dementia Research Group, led by Professor Kim Hemsley, is currently exploring various potential therapeutic approaches to tackle this issue. Additionally, the group is in the process of establishing blood biomarker assays to monitor the effectiveness of the treatments.
Dr Saili Moghe, a representative from the Australian Childhood Dementia Initiative, emphasized that childhood dementia is not presently being considered in the draft National Dementia Action Plan (2023-2033). She highlighted the urgent need for policy changes to ensure that children with dementia are not excluded from the plan.
If meaningful inclusion of children in the National Dementia Action Plan can be achieved, and adaptation of existing dementia and pediatric care and support services occurs as a result, Australia will become a world leader in this area.
The importance of addressing childhood dementia cannot be overstated, given that 1/2800 children born in Australia each year are affected by inherited, untreatable forms of the disease. Through the efforts of the Childhood Dementia Research Group, and the advocacy of organizations such as the Australian Childhood Dementia Initiative, progress is being made towards ensuring that these children receive the care and support they desperately need.