Media: A Current Affair May 8

An A Current Affair report on childhood dementia aired on May 8 2023. It featured Childhood Dementia Family Advocate, Renee Staska, mum to Hudson, Holly and Austin who, very sadly, all have a condition that causes childhood dementia. Renee's experiences helped to raise awareness about the urgent need for change. This story highlighted the sad reality that most children with dementia don't live to adulthood.

Childhood Dementia Initiative CEO, Megan Maack, was also interviewed on the challenges families face when trying to access appropriate care and support. "The health systems are not meeting those needs. Families have to fight for every scrap of support and care that their child receives and that's just unacceptable," Maack said.

This report also featured some of the innovative research underway to find solutions for families like Renee's. Researcher from Perth's Murdoch University, Aung-Htut, was interviewed about her research on a project lead by Associate Professor Anthony Cook from the Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre at the University of Tasmania. Researchers will develop and test a new substrate reduction strategy to treat childhood dementia. In collaboration with researchers including Aung-Htut, at Murdoch University in Perth they will investigate if this treatment approach can stop the build up of certain harmful substances in the brain. It will be tested in cell models of around 10 different types of childhood dementia. This research will be applied to 10 different types of childhood dementia, which is a positive departure from old approaches that focused on just one condition at time. 

Collaborative research that focuses on multiple disorders is something Childhood Dementia Initiative advocates for and drives. You can learn more about innovative new research projects underway in Australia here

Watch the report