The Childhood Dementia Symposium brings researchers, clinicians, industry and patient representatives together to accelerate the availability of therapeutic options for children with dementia.
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Childhood Dementia Symposium 2023
Childhood Dementia Initiative hosted the second Childhood Dementia Symposium on 14 March 2023. It was attended by 100 clinicians, researchers, industry, and patient representatives, all in person in Sydney.
Three sessions of presentations inspired new ideas and provoked thoughtful discussion. Networking sessions also gave the opportunity for small groups to discuss important topics. Key themes that emerged from the day were:
- The need for international engagement. Childhood dementia is a global problem that needs a global solution.
- Overlapping mechanisms both between childhood dementia disorders and in common with adult dementia present opportunities for therapy development.
- Research is starting that aims to identify and develop drugs for multiple childhood dementia disorders based on overlapping disease mechanisms. Basket clinical trial design and outcome measures need to be defined in readiness for trials of such drugs.
- Multimodal therapies need to be considered for the best outcome for patients.
- The family perspective and involvement in research is extremely important.
- There is a need for networks to enable more efficient clinical trials and biosample collection and sharing, including brain banking.
- Newborn screening could transform therapy development for childhood dementia and collaborative effort is needed to ensure successful implementation.
Projects that received funding from the MRFF childhood dementia funding opportunity were announced on the day of the symposium. This funding will kick start some exciting projects but more funding is needed. The outcomes of the 2023 Childhood Dementia Symposium will help inform research strategy going forward. Importantly, new connections made between researchers, clinicians and other stakeholders will have an enduring benefit for the acceleration of research in the years to come. A webinar series will capitalise on the outcomes of this symposium and allow regular knowledge sharing and networking.
Childhood Dementia Symposium 2022
The inaugural Childhood Dementia Symposium held in 2022 in Sydney, was a great success. It helped galvanise focus on childhood dementia and fostered new and innovative collaborations.
During the year that followed:
- The Childhood Dementia Research Alliance surpassed 120 members and continued to grow.
- Groundbreaking proposals were submitted to the MRFF in response to the world's first dedicated government research funding for childhood dementia in the world.
- We launched the Childhood Dementia Knowledgebase to provide deep data - an example of the shared infrastructure that can propel global research.