A symposium on Alzheimer's disease will be held as part of
the 31st International Australasian Winter Conference on
Brain Research in Queenstown next week.
More than 140 brain scientists from New Zealand and Australia
will be in the resort for the conference, which will include
discussions on the nervous system, addiction, memory and
learning and neural plasticity.
The University of Otago's Brain Health Research Centre will
hold the symposium on Alzheimer's as well as a free public
seminar in Queenstown on Wednesday night.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and occurs as
a result of physical changes in the structure of the brain,
affecting memory, cognition, behaviour, personality and
It is estimated more than 48,000 people in New Zealand have
dementia, that number expected to triple by 2050.
Keynote speaker Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela, of
the University of New South Wales Regenerative Neuroscience
Group, will discuss preventing dementia through cultivating
an active brain. He said dementia did not need to be accepted
''as an inevitable part of ageing''.
Professor Bob Knight, from the Brain Health Research Centre,
will discuss the effects of Alzheimer's disease in New
The majority of people with dementia received a diagnosis
late in the course of the disease, resulting in a ''treatment
gap'' when they could have received treatment to prevent or
delay irreversible symptoms.
The ability to identify Alzheimer's at its earliest stages
had the potential to prevent or delay the onset of symptoms,
Prof Knight said.
The free public seminar will be held from 5.15pm on August 28
at the St Margaret's Church Hall in Frankton.