Types of dementia
The most prevalent types of dementia (dutch) are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia (dutch) and Lewy body dementia. In patients with these diseases, nerve cells in the brain become damaged causing them to function worse and process information less well. This influences the patient’s body and physical health.
How does dementia develop?
A lot is still not known about the processes that result in dementia. And often, it cannot be attributed to a single cause either. We are therefore funding research into the origin and mechanism of dementia. Examples of this are further identifying and understanding the function of genes, nerve cells, glia cells and proteins. Unravelling these mechanisms could also ultimately contribute to the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of dementia. We fund the MODEM consortium (dutch) that brings parties together to acquire a better understanding of how dementia develops.
How can we prevent dementia in the future?
Prevention is better than cure. It is therefore vital to develop more knowledge about the prevention of dementia. Less than half of the risk factors for developing dementia has been discovered thus far. There are, however, many developments taking place in the area of prevention (dutch).
A proper diagnosis for people with dementia
A meticulous and timely diagnosis of dementia is important for people with dementia. It can remove uncertainty about the cause of cognitive symptoms and offers people with dementia and their next of kin the possibility to organise the required care and support. In recent decades, the possibilities for and knowledge about dementia diagnostics have increased.
Appropriate treatment for people with dementia
Dementia cannot be treated yet. However, personalised treatments are available that can reduce the symptoms and inhibit their exacerbation. Some treatments involve medication, whereas others do not. Treatments without medication include exercise or social activities. Various studies are underway into treatments for people with dementia (dutch).
Young people with dementia
Young people with dementia are aged between 40 and 65 years. Often the changes in behaviour are initially attributed to psychological problems, such as depression or burnout. The diagnosis of dementia has a lot of impact, but often gives peace of mind as well, because it helps to explain these changes in behaviour. In the new consortia, professionals will join forces to gain a better understanding of the cause of dementia in young people and also to improve its diagnosis and the care for and treatment of young people with dementia (dutch).
Improved care, support and activities for people with dementia
It is important that people with dementia and their next of kin can participate in our society and that the quality of their life is good. Through the right care and support activities, they can remain active for longer, healthy and in contact with others. We focus on the care and support of people with dementia through our research programmes that are part of the medical and social domain. For example, in the programme Long-Term Care, we focus on people of all ages with a lifelong and life-wide dependency on care, with the aim that everybody will be able to live as they wish. Dementia is also part of this ZonMw programme so that the right care and support can be offered in different situations.
With the Research Programme Dementia (Dutch acronym: OPD) (dutch) we encourage research and collaboration with the long-term aim of eradicating dementia. We focus on combining knowledge from different disciplines by bringing it together in multidisciplinary consortia. We are convinced that breakthroughs can only be realised through collaboration and in line with international developments. We also facilitate collaboration between the consortia and with parties in education, (healthcare) practice and industry. In doing this, we contribute to an improved knowledge infrastructure.
We encourage talented researchers to elaborate innovative scientific ideas, and we put the Dutch research field on the international map within the JPND programme.
Through these initiatives, we help to increase applicable knowledge and, ultimately, to achieve an improved quality of life for people with dementia.