Bill Gates personally donates $100 million to Alzheimer's research

13 November, 2017, 19:24 | Author: Eloise Marshall
  • 11_13_Bill_Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2016. Drugs aimed at dissolving amyloid plaques that can build up in the brain and strangle neurons have failed to reduce or delay symptoms in people with mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer's disease.

"In the first example of its kind in dementia, the DDF has now brought together funding from the private sector, charity and industry, and we're especially pleased to get so much interest from the United States in a British fund", said Kate Bingham, Managing Partner of SV.

Gates, in an entry on his blog, said he was making the investment from his personal fortune and not with his charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dementia, which Alzheimer's is the most common type, affects almost 50 million people globally and by 2050 it is expected that that over 131 million will be affected. Gates' support has already had a positive impact on research being conducted into other diseases so we are delighted that he is now personally uniting in the fight against dementia'. "It's a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough".

However, Gates said, that with well-funded and focused innovation, he was optimistic treatments will be found, even if they are over a decade in the future. Gates will provide this $100 million himself.

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.

"I know how very bad it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it", he wrote.

"A person with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on health care than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition", he wrote. This time Bill Gates is seen to be more concerned about the rapid growth of Alzheimer.

Around 44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, but this figure is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050, placing a huge and unprecedented strain on global healthcare systems if better treatments are not discovered.

Among the priorities identified by Gates is a better understanding of the disease process, earlier diagnosis, a more diverse drug pipeline, greater patient recruitment into trials and improved used of R&D data.

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