Significant increase in funding for Childhood Dementia research announced

The Malinauskas Government is teaming up with the Little Heroes Foundation to inject $500,000 into crucial research aimed at addressing the fatal and aggressive condition of Childhood Dementia.

$500,000 has been injected into crucial research addressing Childhood Dementia, a severe and often overlooked spectrum of genetic disorders. These disorders inflict irreversible brain damage on children from an early age.

Similar to its adult counterpart, childhood dementia progressively robs children of basic functions like speech, mobility, literacy, and play. Shockingly, about 91 Australians succumb to childhood dementia annually, nearly rivaling the toll of childhood cancer.

The injection could not have come about without the tireless work from Sarah Game MLC.

“I am incredibly proud to be part of securing this funding and grateful to the Premier for the significant step taken to save the lives of these children and publicise this disease that is taking the lives of as many children as childhood cancer,” she said

“Childhood dementia is a genetic disease that is currently always fatal, this means tragically multiple children from the same family can be affected. Researchers advise me that with funding a cure may be found in our lifetime.”

Thus, the Malinauskas Government teamed up with the Little Heroes Foundation to provide the funding boost, with the premier himself the challenges these children face are unfathomable.

“It is hard to fathom how challenging a diagnosis of Childhood Dementia is for families,” Premier Peter Malinauskas said.

“I am in awe of the strength of parents who manage this heartbreaking condition with their young children.

“I am proud to lead a government which is making investments like this one, which will move us closer to finding ways to manage, and potentially cure, childhood dementia.”

Statistics from the Childhood Dementia Initiative reveal that 1 in every 2,900 newborns carries a condition predisposing them to childhood dementia, with half of these children not surviving past the age of ten. In Australia alone, approximately 2,500 children endure this condition, with 120 cases recorded in South Australia.

In a bid to bolster essential research efforts, the State Government will allocate $250,000 to the Little Heroes Foundation, which will match this amount, culminating in a $500,000 fund dedicated to advancing research outcomes.

“I was first made aware of Childhood Dementia in August last year, when I learned of Adelaide mum Renee Staska, whose 3 children now aged 5, 8, and 10 all have the condition,” Chris McDermott, Founding Chairman and CEO, Little Heroes Foundation said.

“Yes, you heard it right. Childhood Dementia. No longer a condition purely for the elderly.

“This relatively new illness takes almost as many lives of 1- to 16-year-olds as cancer. There is no treatment. There is no cure.

“We at Little Heroes Foundation have been supporting families like Renee’s while investing in researchers at Flinders University, who are busy looking for a breakthrough.

“Through this partnership with the Government, we here in South Australia can become world leaders in this vital area of research.”

This groundbreaking collaboration will empower the Childhood Dementia Research Group at Flinders University, propelling their investigations forward. Already, the Research Group has achieved a significant breakthrough by identifying a drug capable of transforming afflicted cells, rendering them more akin to healthy cells.

“Flinders University is pursuing world-leading research to develop new treatments for childhood dementia, and this crucial funding will support discoveries with the potential to improve the quality of life of thousands of children,” Professor Kim Hemsley, Head of Flinders University Childhood Dementia Research Group said.

“The research has until now focused on treatments for Sanfilippo Syndrome and will be expanded to target other types of childhood dementia, including Niemann-Pick disease, thanks to the support of the South Australian Government and Little Heroes Foundation.

“This funding is also an investment in the next generation of researchers in South Australia with Dr Siti Mubarokah leading this important medical research.”

More News

To Top