Bill Gates commits $100 million to help fight Alzheimer's

Gates streams $50m into Britain's Dementia Discovery Fund

Gates, with his background as the co-founder of Microsoft, believes he can be especially helpful with the data-driven aspect.

Gates has committed $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund in an effort to help fund research to fight Alzheimer's disease.

The main aspiration of Gates is that he wants to bring a proper curing treatment for Alzheimer's, because the disease destroys patients' memory as well as mental processes and is yet not curative at all.

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. Current medications can only ease some of the symptoms, at best.

Mr. Gates said he is optimistic about finding a treatment with focused and well-funded innovation.

"It'll take probably 10 years before new theories are tried enough times to give them a high chance of success", Gates said. "I hope that in the next 10 years that we have some powerful drugs, but it's possible that won't be achieved".

It is thought that 50% of people who reach their mid-80s will develop Alzheimer's, despite research showing that a third of cases may be preventable if simple lifestyle changes are implemented.

Half of the investment will go directly to the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) - a private-public collaboration among major drugmakers like GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly, as well as the United Kingdom government and numerous charities - all with a common goal: discover treatments for Alzheimer's and dementia. But my personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease.

"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.

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

Alongside the $50 million investment in DDF and the additional $50 million planned for start-ups, Gates said he would like to award a grant to build a global dementia data platform. He explained that all the individual data compiled by a pharmaceutical company or research lab should be available in a common form, so that groups of researchers can look for patterns and identify new pathways for treatment.

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