Research Network on Degenerative Dementia

Dementia diseases mainly occur in persons of advanced age, usually causing a progressive decline in mental abilities. Symptoms include memory deficits, impairment of attention and of visuospatial skills as well as gradual loss of the ability to carry out daily activities such as personal hygiene. The intensity of the symptoms and the progression of these disorders may vary considerably from individual to individual.

Today's drug treatments have only a limited effect, delaying the progression of the disease by an average period of 6 to 12 months. The application of therapeutic measures at an earlier stage may slow down the progression of dementia. This means that early diagnosis, e.g. by family doctors, is very important.

As life expectancy increases, dementias are becoming a challenge which societies have to confront. The BMBF is funding the dementia research network in order to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients. 13 teaching hospitals are cooperating within the network. Other participants include hospitals, private practitioners, industrial companies and patients' organizations such as the Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft. Joint research projects are to pool research efforts and make them more effective. Research will focus on the development of advanced standards for the diagnosis and treatment of dementias. It is hoped that the collection of epidemiological data will result in new findings on the development and progression of the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment by family doctors are also to be improved.


> Research Network on Degenerative Dementia


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