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Dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Med J Aust 2014; 200 (8): 435-436. || doi: 10.5694/mja14.00259

An urgent imperative to close the gap

The article by Li and colleagues1 in this issue of the Journal highlights an important emerging public health problem for Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population that incorporates many health issues relevant to the “close the gap” initiative.

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  • Robert M Parker

  • School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Darwin, NT.

Correspondence: robert.parker@nt.gov.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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  • 2. Smith K, Flicker L, Lautenschlager NT, et al. High prevalence of dementia and cognitive impairment in Indigenous Australians. Neurology 2008; 71: 1470-1473.
  • 3. Neuroscience Research Australia. Koori Growing Old Well Study. http://www.neura.edu.au/aboriginal-ageing (accessed Apr 2014).
  • 4. Dementia soars in Aboriginal communities. DPS News [internet] 2013; 23 May. http://www.agedcareguide.com.au/news/2013/05/23/dementia-soars-in-aboriginal-communities (accessed Apr 2014).
  • 5. Glasson EJ, Sullivan SG, Hussain R, Bittles AH. An assessment of intellectual disability among Aboriginal Australians. J Intellect Disabil Res 2005; 49: 626-634.
  • 6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: an overview. Canberra: AIHW, 2011. (AIHW Cat. No. IHW 42.) http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737418989 (accessed Apr 2014).
  • 7. Skull SA, Ruben AR, Walker AC. Malnutrition and microcephaly in Australian Aboriginal children. Med J Aust 1997; 166: 412-414.
  • 8. Zubrick SR, Silburn SR, De Maio JA, et al. Educating Aboriginal children – issues, policy and history. In: The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey: improving the educational experiences of Aboriginal children and young people. Vol. 3. Perth: Curtin University of Technology and Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, 2006: Ch. 2. http://aboriginal.telethonkids.org.au/media/395500/western_australian_aboriginal_child_health_survey_ch2.pdf (accessed Apr 2014).
  • 9. Wilkes E, Gray D, Saggers S, et al. Substance misuse and mental health among Aboriginal Australians. In: Purdie N, Dudgeon P, Walker R, editors. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2010: 117-134. http://aboriginal.childhealthresearch.org.au/media/54847/working_together_full_book.pdf (accessed Apr 2014).
  • 10. Harris KR, Bucens IK. Prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome in the Top End of the Northern Territory. J Paediatr Child Health 2003; 39: 528-533.
  • 11. Carpenter B, Tait G, Quadrelli C. Arguing the autopsy: mutual suspicion, jurisdictional confusion and the socially marginal. In: Richards K, Tauri J, editors. Crime, justice and social democracy: proceedings of the 2nd International Conference. Vol. 1. Brisbane: Crime and Justice Research Centre. Queensland University of Technology, 2013: 10-18. http://crimejusticeconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Conference-Proceedings-Vol-1_2013.pdf (accessed Apr 2014).
  • 12. LoGiudice D, Smith K, Thomas J, et al. Kimberley Indigenous Cognitive Assessment tool (KICA): development of a cognitive assessment tool for older indigenous Australians. Int Psychogeriatr 2006; 18: 269-280.
  • 13. Sotiri M, McGee P, Baldry E. No end in sight. The imprisonment and indefinite detention of Indigenous people with a cognitive impairment. Sydney: University of New South Wales, 2012. http://www.pwd.org.au/documents/project/2012ADJC-NoEndInSight.docx (accessed Apr 2014).

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