Personalised treatment for people with dementia

There is no cure for dementia yet. However, some treatments that can reduce symptoms or the worsening of symptoms. Extensive research is being conducted on potential treatments. We are committed to accelerating the development and availability of personalised and combined treatments for dementia.

Development of dementia medication

A lot of research is underway worldwide to find a cure for dementia. Researchers want to go beyond the currently available symptom alleviation and want to curb the disease as early on in the process as possible. ZonMw is also committed to achieving this. We do this by funding researchers at Maastricht University, for instance, to investigate whether a drug for the treatment of COPD could also slow down the disease progression.

Working on personalised treatment

The way in which new therapies are being developed is changing dramatically. Researchers in the field are working toward a combined approach of diagnostics and medication. In the future, when making a diagnosis based on data, we want to be able to determine which drug will benefit this person most. The advantage of doing this is that a treatment can be tailored to the person with dementia by taking into account individual characteristics, wishes and their pace of life.

New collaborations for future treatments

A party commissioned by the Dementia Research Programme of ZonMw explored therapies now being used, the parties involved and the needs and opportunities for developing new treatments. We used this information to design the first round of grants for promising therapies. Read more about the subsidy Promising innovative therapies phase 1 and phase 2.

Organisations within the ABOARD Consortium are also working together to prepare the healthcare system for new, personalised treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Understanding dementia to find treatments

To ultimately eradicate dementia, we will first need to understand what goes wrong in the brains of people with dementia. This calls for fundamental research. Researchers are working together in the MODEM Consortium to try to understand the underlying mechanisms in the brain and then find possible leads for treatments. In addition, several researchers with fellowship grants are working on understanding dementia, which can also help find treatments.

Efforts to increase the quality of life

In addition to focusing on medication and related treatments, lifestyle interventions and social activities are also ways to increase the quality of life of people with dementia. The impact of music therapy, for instance, has also been studied thanks to funding by ZonMw. A new method was also developed for dealing with misunderstood behaviour in younger people with dementia in nursing homes. To improve the social health of people with dementia, we also focus on meaningful day activities and programmes such as the Namaste Care Family programme. Other funding bodies are also committed to improving the quality of life for people with dementia, for example through the SPREAD+ and QoLEAD consortiums.


Lotte Hofstee

Programme Manager
dementie [at]

Miranda van Duijn

Senior Programme Manager
dementie [at]

Marlies van den Oever

Senior Programme Manager
dementie [at]