Bill Gates Invests in the Fight Against Alzheimer's
Billionaire Bill Gates has announced a $50 million personal donation to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a collaboration between industry and government to find new treatments – and a cure – for Alzheimer’s disease. According to Gates, this investment, which is not part of the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be followed by another $50 million donation to start-up ventures working in Alzheimer’s research.
In spite of decades of research, current treatment options for Alzheimer’s cannot slow progression of the disease and can do little more than ease some of its symptoms. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans and almost 50 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease. A new diagnosis is made every 66 seconds in the United States.
In an interview with Reuters, Gates spoke of the rapidly growing emotional and financial toll of the disease as people with Alzheimer’s are living longer. He expressed optimism that with focused, well-funded efforts, effective treatments can be developed. The Dementia Discovery Fund was founded in 2015 and involves a number of large pharmaceutical companies as well as the government of the United Kingdom.