The Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (AARF) is a not-for-profit organisation supporting medical research into Alzheimer’s disease. As an organisation our approach is multi- factorial; conducting research from observational, preventative and treatment perspectives.
The Foundation is constantly recruiting participants who have no issues with their memory, have minor memory complaints and those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. If you would like to participate in our research please contact us.
We continue to strive towards our objectives of:
- Increasing the understanding of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease
- Developing earlier diagnostic techniques
- Identifying treatments and interventions.
As there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, prevention is currently the best strategy. The disease starts slowly, and can take up to 15-20 years before diagnosis. During this long pre-diagnosis phase there are no noticeable symptoms. Imaging technologies can detect deposits of protein called amyloid beta in the brain. Early warning of amyloid deposits in the brain will enable people to take preventative steps, such as lifestyle modifications, before irreversible damage is done. Research is underway to identify treatments that may help to improve symptoms, prevent progression of the disease or delay the onset of dementia.
Strategies for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease can be divided into two groups:
Nonpharmacological treatments are associated with lifestyle interventions such as exercise and staying physically fit, eating a healthy diet, improving sleep quality, mental stimulation and socialisation.
Pharmacological treatments use medications to alleviate the memory symptoms and other such cognitive changes to slow or delay the onset of the disease.
AARF is a vital part of the search for new treatments to slow the progression of and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
At our centres, we conduct clinical trials sponsored by international research companies that investigate novel pharmaceutical treatments for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
disease. These studies explore various aspects of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease.
AARF is the pre-eminent site for trials into potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in Western Australia.
Together with Edith Cowan University, AARF conducts observational studies, whereby participants undergo memory and thinking tests as well as brain imaging scans over a long period of time, with some participants now returning for over 10 years. Our research allows us to explore relationships between changes in memory and mental abilities over the study duration. Blood biomarkers, lifestyle, sleep and mood are other investigative factors.
Conducting observational research creates the opportunity to investigate cost effective methods of identifying Alzheimer’s disease earlier. Results may inform future preventative programs based on modifiable lifestyle factors; such as diet, exercise and sleep.