Tech Industry

Bill Gates putting up $100 million to fight Alzheimer's

Billionaire Microsoft founder is investing a chunk of his own money to fund research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2016.
James Martin/CNET

Bill Gates is known for his generosity, and he's taking it further with an investment into Alzheimer's research.

The founder of Microsoft has given away $32.91 billion over his lifetime, much of which has been spent as the richest person in the world. His latest $100 million gift will reportedly be going in two equal chunks to organizations on the cutting edge of fighting dementia.

The Dementia Discovery Fund will get the first $50 million to help its mission of bringing together government and industry to work on treatments, Gates wrote on his personal blog. The second will go to "less mainstream" start-up ventures working in Alzheimer's research, he told Reuters. Both donations will come from his personal accounts and not the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that affects more than 5 million Americans

"Of all the disorders that plague us late in life, one stands out as a particularly big threat to society: Alzheimer's disease," Gates said in his blog. "You have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s."

Current treatments can only ease the symptoms. 

"I hope that in the next 10 years that we have some powerful drugs," Gates told Reuters, "but it's possible that won't be achieved."

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