Bill Gates gives $50 million to combat Alzheimer's

Ebony Scott
November 14, 2017

Billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates has pledged around $100 million in the fight against brain-wasting diseases, earmarking half of that for start-ups researching treatments for Alzheimer's disease, Newsweek reports.

Gates said this is a personal investment, not one offered through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has invested in research to stop the spread of diseases such as HIV. In a statement, Gates says men in his family have suffered from Alzheimer's.

Gates has called it a "huge" and "growing" problem, noting that "the scale of the tragedy-even for the people who stay alive-is very high". Current medications can only ease some of the symptoms, at best.

Mr. Gates said he is optimistic about finding a treatment with focused and well-funded innovation.

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"It'll take probably 10 years before new theories are tried enough times to give them a high chance of success". Dementia affects around 50 million people globally, and is expected to develop in over 131 million more by 2050, says the non-profit group Alzheimer's Disease International. After spending a year speaking with experts, the Microsoft co-founder says he is hoping to see progress in five key areas: Understanding how Alzheimer's unfolds, earlier detection methods, more approaches to stopping the disease, easier enrollment in clinical trials, and using data better.

"I know how very bad it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity".

According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's. He says the Gates Foundation might consider how to expand access in poorer countries when treatments are developed.

Other reports by GizPress

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