10 August 2017

The national funding programme Memorabel II awarded funding for six research projects and three partner projects. This will bolster research on dementia at Radboudumc and the Donders Institute.

Memorabel is a research and innovation scheme initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport. It is executed by ZonMw as part of the Deltaplan Dementia. The goal of the research and innovation programme Memorabel is to improve the quality of life of and the quality of care for people afflicted by dementia. ZonMw achieves this by performing research and developing effective instruments, interventions and models of care. In total, seventeen million Euro are available for all projects. Individual projects can receive sums between 200,000 and 1,500,000 Euro.

Below is a summary of the projects.

DementieNet

Dr. Marjolein van der Marck
The DementieNet evaluation tracks the proliferation of DementieNetwerk networks. At this point, there are approximately twenty DementieNetwerks active in the Netherlands, whose efficacy will be tracked in this project. This will result in a unique collection of both qualitative and quantitative data about the development of networks in dementia care.

The dementia-friendly society: improving health of people with dementia and retraining positive health

 Dr. Maud Graff
People with dementia and their carers both experience social stigma and often refrain from social participation. Social participation has become part of the new concept of positive health, recognising its importance for healthy ageing and acknowledging the emphasis placed on it by the World Health Organisation and Deltaplan Dementie. The research will focus on stimulating patients with dementia to participate in their environment and on creating dementia-friendly environments. The concrete question here is which mechanisms are effective in achieving this. The study will elucidate the development, testing, and dissemination of a manual wherein complex interventions are outlined in order to foster knowledge dissemination.

TrEAT the effect of nutrition

Dr. Maud Graff
Problems with keeping eating, grocery shopping and cooking are prevalent among autonomously living people with dementia. Scientific research into help and support for these aspects is scarce and good interventions are lacking. TrEat studies and develops support methods for autonomously living people with dementia and their carers, in order to maintain proper food intake and to prevent malnutrition. Researchers of Radboudumc will collaborate with Stuurgroep Ondervoeding and ergo-therapists, nutritionists, and other caregivers, to develop an effective, multidisciplinary approach.

BIONIC

Dr. Marcel Verbeek
Healthy blood vessels are important for proper functioning of our brains. Accumulation of so-called amyloid beta proteins can result in damage to blood vessels and in a reduction of cognitive abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. These accumulations of proteins cannot be properly determined during one’s lifetime. We have identified novel biomarkers in the cerebral fluid that might indicate the presence of accumulated proteins. These markers allow researchers to study the relation between protein accumulation and degrading cognitive abilities. Furthermore, researchers are developing methods to use these biomarkers to identify patients who might benefit from (anti-amyloid-beta) immunotherapy, and those who might not benefit from it.

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