Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Bill Gates makes $100 million personal investment to fight Alzheimer's

Bill Gates makes $100 million personal investment to fight Alzheimer's

"It's a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough".

"[Dementia] is a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy - even for the people who stay alive - is very high", Mr. Gates told Reuters.

Years have been spent in trying to find treatments for Alzheimer's, but so far, there have been no effective therapies to halt the progression of the disease.

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City, U.S., September 20. Current medications can only ease some of the symptoms, at best.

As people continue to live longer, Gates says on his blog, the more at risk they are for developing diseases like Parkinson's or arthritis.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society charity, welcomed Gates' "significant personal investment", saying it would speed up progress toward a cure and help reduce stigma around dementia: "With Bill Gates now joining all those already united against dementia, there is new hope for advances in the care and cure of dementia", he said in a statement.

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Gates says he will follow the initial investment up with another $50 million for start-ups working in Alzheimer's research.

Gates says that he has identified five specific areas of need in scientific research for Alzheimer's: understanding how the disease unfolds, detecting and diagnosing it early, looking into multiple approaches to stop it, making it easier for people to enter clinical trials, and using data more efficiently. Of all diseases, it is Alzheimer's (and, technically, other dementias), which is almost perfectly correlated with aging that has therefore turned it from a rare disease, when most of us died too young to get it, into an epidemic that is ravaging us all.

He added that the Gates Foundation might consider how to expand access in poorer countries when treatments are developed.

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