Bill Gates gives $50 million to combat Alzheimer's

Bill Gates gives $50 million to combat Alzheimer's

Bill Gates gives $50 million to combat Alzheimer's

Gates has called it a "huge" and "growing" problem, noting that "the scale of the tragedy-even for the people who stay alive-is very high".

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City, U.S., September 20. Current drugs can do no more than ease some of the symptoms.

Gates says the first treatments for the disease might not be feasible for a decade or more and would initially be expensive.

"I hope that in the next 10 years that we have some powerful drugs, but it's possible that won't be achieved". 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 plans to invest at least another $50 million into other startups that are working on "less mainstream" approaches, but these have not yet been identified. "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.

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The investment comes personally from Gates, not through his charity organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Reuters reports.

"Some of the men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer's, but I wouldn't say that's the sole reason" (for this investment)", he added.

In addition to boosting research into the underlying causes of the disease, Gates identifies four other priority areas that need attention, including improving dementia diagnosis and participation in clinical trials, bringing new ideas and theories into the field, and using the power of big data to speed up research progress. He says the Gates Foundation might consider how to expand access in poorer countries when treatments are developed.

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