Exciting news for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients! Philanthropist, founder, and co-chair of Microsoft,  Bill Gates has pledged $100 million towards research for dementia. Alzheimer’s disease currently affects over 5 million Americans and 47 million worldwide. Frustrated with these numbers and recent disappointments regarding pharmaceutical trials, Gates told Time Magazine that he was ready to aggressively expand research efforts.

This event marks the first time Bill Gates has invested in research for a non-communicable disease. Half of the donated funds are committed to a venture capital effort, the Dementia Discovery Fund, to explore more innovative interventions previously untested. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Gates talks about opening up research opportunities because “any type of treatment would be huge advance to what we have today.”

Over a hundred years ago, German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer discovered the connection between neutral structures and buildup in the pathways of the brain. Dementia is the result of tangled proteins, known as amyloids and tau, blocking neural receptors and preventing the brain from accurate memory recall. Since then, researchers have largely focused on these processes in the brain to treat and prevent dementia.

Bill Gates talked about expanding research to include new approaches, such as the immune system of the brain and the mitochondrial energy in cells. Ultimately, investment will allow researchers to expand their efforts in processing new and current data. Experts indicate that these funds will significantly advance current efforts while exposing potential areas for new research.

Shockingly, someone in America develops dementia every 66 seconds. Dementia is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the number of diagnoses is expect to triple in the next 30 years. Investment in research is the first of many steps but Bill Gates believes there is a solution out there. At Seniors and Health, we are committed to providing up-to-date information, we will keep you current as more details arrive!



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About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.