Forum on Alzheimer's at Notre Dame

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 11-10-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Medicine’s, Primary Health Care Research Unit (PHCRU) recently held a community forum on Dementia and Ageing.

The talk was part of a series of research events promoted by the PHCRU, following the successful forum on men’s health held earlier in the year.

The night included two lectures from professionals who work with people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and a talk from a carer’s personal experience with the disease.

The first presentation saw Jennifer Watt give a first hand account of her experience in caring for her husband who developed Alzheimer’s at a young age. She spoke of how despite her husband’s failing intellect they still managed to share many tender moments together. She found these experiences helped motivate her to continue her caring role despite his deteriorating condition.

Professor Ralph Martins, from Edith Cowan University (ECU) and McCusker Foundation, outlined some current theories on the development and management of dementia. He stressed the importance of funding better diagnostic markers to facilitate earlier detection of the condition.

Dr Roger Clarnetts, an aged-care specialist at Fremantle Hospital and a clinical researcher at McCusker Foundation, gave a talk on the current treatments available for dementia and pointers toward future developments in managing the disease.

Director of the PHCRU, Associate Professor Tom Brett commented, “A key message that emerged from these talks was that many of the lifestyle factors already recognised as key risks for heart disease and stroke are also risk factors for developing dementia.”

The audience, consisting of community members, carers, nurses, general practitioners and medical students joined in a lively discussion after the talks.

In thanking the presenters and audience for their contributions, Professor Brett stated that Notre Dame planned to hold a further series of community health forums during 2008.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders
08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138