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Dementia Prevention Research New Zealand

The Dementia

Uniting New Zealand’s best clinicians, neuroscientists and the scientific brain research community to combat Alzheimers.

Dementia Prevention Research NZ

60,000 New Zealanders suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

New Zealand’s
Alzheimer’s Epidemic

Today, more than 60,000 New Zealanders suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, a number that is expected to triple by 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex and challenging disease. We do not know the cause and currently there is no cure. Research offers hope that development of a range of novel treatments may delay the onset and progression of the disease and maximise quality of life. To have the biggest possible impact on people’s lives, we need to be able to diagnose those at risk of Alzheimer’s when the earliest biological changes occur – up to 15 years before clinical symptoms appear.

If we could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by 5 years, we could reduce the incidence of dementia by 50%.

Dementia Prevention Scientific brain research

What are the Dementia Prevention Research Clinics?

The Dementia Prevention Research Clinics are a multi-year longitudinal study designed to identify processes causing memory and functional decline in older adults, and to test new interventions that may delay or prevent the onset and progression of dementia.

They were established by Brain Research New Zealand, a national Centre of Research Excellence, and are supported by the New Zealand Dementia Prevention Trust.  Through the clinics, we are recruiting people with memory problems, as well as healthy volunteers, and following them to find out which blood and brain biomarkers, cognitive characteristics, health and lifestyle factors influence the development and progression of dementia in New Zealanders. With this powerful data asset, the brain research community will be better able to develop tools, programmes and treatments to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

Progress and impact so far

Our researchers and clinicians have 28 research projects underway that are helping to further our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, and to test interventions that might delay its progression.

Our current research is focusing on:

Prevent dementia Early markers of change using MRI and PET scansEarly markers of change
using MRI and PET scans
Dementia ResearchQuality of life and
Know someone with dementia or alzhemimersSensory functioning
Symptoms of dementiaIntervention trials using
low level brain stimulation
Symptoms of alzhemimers Early markersEarly markers of change
from blood proteins,
metabolites and genetics
Alzheimer’s disease Research Intervention trials using low level brain stimulation Changes in brain plasticity
and connectivity using
brain-wave recordings
What is Dementia?Understanding risk
and protective factors for
dementia in Māori
Dementia Sleep DisturbanceSleep disturbance
and progression of
cognitive decline

Clinical team

The local clinics’ directors, Associate Professor Lynette Tippett and Dr Phil Wood (Auckland), Professor Tim Anderson and Professor John Dalrymple-Alford (Christchurch), and Dr Nick Cutfield (Dunedin), are supported by talented teams of medical specialists, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, research nurses and research support staff.

Dementia Prevention Research Professor Lynette Tippett

Lynette Tippett
National Director, Dementia
Prevention Research Clinics
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Dementia Prevention Research Professor Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson
Clinical Director of the NZ Brain
Research Institute
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Dementia Prevention Research Professor Dalrymple-Alford

New Zealand Brain Research
Institute, Christchurch
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Dementia Prevention Research Dr Nick Cutfield

Dr Nick Cutfield
Clinical Deputy Director, Brain Health Research Centre; Senior Lecturer; Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Lead
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Dementia Prevention Research Jane Govender

Jane Govender
Clinics Manager
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Trust team

Philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar set up the Trust in 2015 in partnership with leading brain research scientist Sir Richard Faull, with the objective of fundraising for the Clinics.

Dementia Prevention Research Jonty Kelt

Jonty Kelt
Chair of the NZ Dementia
Prevention Trust
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Dementia Prevention Research Sir Ralph Norris

Sir Ralph Norris
KNZM D.Bus (Hon)
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Dementia Prevention Research Mark Stewart

Mark Stewart
BCom (Business Administration)
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Dementia Prevention Research Ngaire Dixon

Ngaire Dixon
Director at Mace Consulting Ltd
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Would you like to join our study?

Over the next two years we hope to recruit 400 volunteers with Mild Cognitive Impairment to participate in our study. If you are interested in enrolling in the DPRC, please have a look at our inclusion criteria below. You can also speak to your GP, specialist, or contact your nearest DPRC team directly.

You may be eligible
to participate if:

  • You are aged over 55;
  • You or others have noticed memory problems;
  • You are fluent in English; and
  • You are not living in long-term care;

Unfortunately you will NOT be eligible
to participate if you have:

  • Been diagnosed with dementia
  • A history of significant alcohol and/or substance use
  • Experienced a moderate to severe brain injury
  • A pacemaker
  • A significant neurological condition
    (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, epilepsy, brain tumour)
Participation in our Dementia Prevention Research Clinics is voluntary and for research purposes only. Participation is also free, and will not affect your usual medical care. Contact us below.

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