UNSW researchers have received $5.1 million from the federal government to continue groundbreaking work to improve assessments and outcomes for people with dementia.

Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, announced the funding as part of a $21.7 million package for three Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (DCRCs) and five Dementia Study Training Centres across Australia.

UNSW's funding will allow a research team within the School of Psychiatry, led by Professor Henry Brodaty, to continue its work for another three years. The team is investigating ways to improve assessment and care for people with dementia of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause.

UNSW hosts one of Australia's three DCRCs, each focusing on a different area of dementia research.

Announcing the funding, Ms Elliot said: "The increasing prevalence of dementia requires us to examine new and innovative approaches to improve dementia diagnosis, prevention and care.

"This funding provides for ongoing research that will help improve our understanding of the causes of dementia and help translate that research into improvements in prevention and care."

Professor Brodaty said research already completed at UNSW included: the use of lavender oil for reducing agitation in people with dementia; better ways of designing nursing homes; recruiting and retaining nurses in aged care; and computer modelling of the prevalence of dementia in Australia over next 40 years.

"Work is currently underway on determining dementia literacy - knowledge about Alzheimer's and other dementias - in people from Italian, Greek, Chinese and third generation Australian communities," Professor Brodaty said.

For more information go to the DCRC website

Media Contact: Steve Offner | 02 9385 8107 | s.offner@unsw.edu.au