Bill Gates Wants To Find A Cure For Alzheimer's

Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates. REUTERS Rick Wilking

The $100 million dollar donation will be separated into two commitments: $50 million will go toward start-up ventures conducting Alzheimer's research while another $50 million will go toward the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital program that unites government and private-sector efforts that focus on medical breakthroughs. Gates also said he plans to invest $50 million in emerging startups that are working on unique treatments, hoping to take a data-driven approach to discover how the disease progresses in its early forms. Additionally, he said he will donate another $50 million to smaller startups researching the disease, although he hasn't named specific companies yet, Reuters reports.

Gates acknowledged that making progress against Alzheimer s would be a long-term project. The group has more than 150 signatories.

"This fact-that people are living longer than ever before-should always be a wonderful thing", Gates said on his blog.

"It's very tough", Gates said of the disease's emotional toll on patients and their families. "The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify", Gates wrote.

Through advanced study of the brain, Gates said he's hopeful for a treatment that drastically reduces Alzheimer's.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has concentrated mainly on fighting communicable diseases such as malaria and polio in poor countries.

Although Alzheimer's now has no cure, Gates expressed hope that the course of Alzheimer's can be substantially altered if progress is made in five key areas.

The multi-billionaire philanthropist said finding treatment for Alzheimer s, which affects almost 50 million people worldwide, was particularly urgent since improved medical care meant people were living longer. "We need a lot of ideas here to give us the highest chance that will lead to an Alzheimer's cure".

"The human cost of Alzheimer's is much more hard to put into numbers", Gates wrote on his blog .

"My personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease", he writes.

"In the first example of its kind in dementia, the DDF has now brought together funding from the private sector, charity and industry, and we're especially pleased to get so much interest from the USA in a British fund", said Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV. "I'm excited to join the fight and can't wait to see what happens next".

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