Bill Gates personally donates $100 million to Alzheimer's research


In a blog post published t0day (Nov. 13), Gates announced that he'd be donating $50 million from his personal funds to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture-capital organization that works with both the United Kingdom government and drug companies to look for novel approaches to tackle the most common form of dementia.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's, which destroys memory and other mental processes, and so Gates said he is investing his own money into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public partnership to search for a solution.

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has a long track record of supporting research to eradicate diseases like malaria and polio. The second will go to "less mainstream" start-up ventures working in Alzheimer's research Gates told Reuters.

Here's more from Gates talking about his pledge to fight Alzheimer's. The group has more than 150 signatories.

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In a blog post, Mr. Gates outlined his reasons for donating, saying that Alzheimer's and dementia greatly reduce quality of life, take an extreme emotional toll on families and put an enormous economic burden on the nation's health care system.

"We don't really have anything that stops Alzheimer's, and so the growing burden is pretty unbelievable", Gates said in an interview with CNN's chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta. 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 terrible it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. "The Alzheimer's Association commends Bill Gates for digging in and joining the cause". "It feels a lot like you're experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew", he said in a blog post about the dementia investments.

There are 47 million people living with some form of dementia globally; about 60% to 80% of those cases are Alzheimer's disease. "We need a lot of ideas here to give us the highest chance that will lead to an Alzheimer's cure". He also hopes that research will soon deliver better diagnostic tools, like a quick blood test, that can detect the disease sooner.

"I'm excited to join the fight and can't wait to see what happens next", Gates said.