Bill Gates made a big investment to fight Alzheimer's

11_13_Bill_Gates

11_13_Bill_Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2016.

"Scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes Alzheimer s or how to stop the disease from destroying the brain", he said. Researchers must also try lots of theories on their road to new discoveries, make drug trial processes faster, and continue to collect data and make it accessible in a common form, Gates said. "I believe we can do the same (or better) with Alzheimer s".

'Alzheimer's Society wholeheartedly welcomes Bill Gates' significant personal investment to advancing research into Alzheimer's disease.

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

Gates said, however, that with focused and well-funded innovation, he's "optimistic" treatments can be found, even if they might be more than a decade away.

Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that affects more than 5 million Americans.

DDF is backed by the government, charity Alzheimer's Research UK and several of the big pharmaceutical firms, including GSK, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, with the goal of finding an ambitious cure for dementia by 2025. 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.

The philanthropist, whose usual focus is on infectious diseases in poorer countries, said Alzheimer's caught his interest partly for personal reasons, and partly because it has so far proved such a tough nut to crack.

Gates announced the move on his blog, where he explained his personal reasons for joining the effort on tackling Alzheimer's disease.

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

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. It feels a lot like you're experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.

The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), first launched in 2015 and run by venture capital firm SV Health, is focused on discovering and developing new therapies that are not in the mainstream for fighting the disease which is expected to affect 1m people in the United Kingdom alone by 2025. People should be able to enjoy their later years - and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer's to fulfill that.

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