Nov. 13, 2017 — Bill Gates says he will provide $50 million for research into efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
The money will go to a private-public partnership called the Dementia Discovery Fund, which focuses on some unique theories about what what is behind the brain disease, such as a brain cell’s immune system, according to CNN.
This is the first time Gates has funded research into a noncommunicable disease. Previously, the main focus of his foundation has been infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and polio.
Alzheimer’s affects 47 million people worldwide. More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the country. If treatments aren’t found, it’s predicted that 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by 2050, CNN reported.
“The growing burden is pretty unbelievable,” Gates said, adding that he has a personal connection with Alzheimer’s. “Several of the men in my family have this disease. And so, you know, I’ve seen how tough it is. That’s not my sole motivation, but it certainly drew me in.”