Why I’m Digging Deep Into Alzheimer’s (Bill Gates):
“In every part of the world, people are living longer than they used to. Thanks to scientific advancements, fewer people die young from heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. It’s no longer unusual for a person to live well into their 80s and beyond. My dad will celebrate his 92nd birthday in a couple weeks, a milestone that was practically unimaginable when he was born.
This fact—that people are living longer than ever before—should always be a wonderful thing. But what happens when it’s not?…I first became interested in Alzheimer’s because of its costs—both emotional and economic—to families and healthcare systems. The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify. A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition. Unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses. If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades…
There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our chances: our understanding of the brain and the disease is advancing a great deal. We’re already making progress—but we need to do more.
I want to support the brilliant minds doing this work. As a first step, I’ve invested $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund—a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies continue to pursue the amyloid and tau pathways. DDF complements their work by supporting startups as they explore less mainstream approaches to treating dementia.” Read full article over at Bill Gates’ blog.
Article in Context
- From Anti-Alzheimer’s ‘Magic Bullets’ to True Brain Health
- Solving the Brain Fitness Puzzle Is the Key to Self-Empowered Aging
- 10 million people develop dementia every year
- Report: 35% of worldwide dementia cases could be prevented by modifying these 9 modifiable risk factors