Gates to invest $100M in dementia, Alzheimer's initiatives

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IBM founder Bill Gates has a new target for his renowned philanthropic endeavors. The billionaire announced Nov. 13 that he will donate nearly $100 million to projects focused on researching dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

About $50 million of his nine-figure investment will go to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund that brings together industry and government to seek treatments. The other half will go to a handful of start-up ventures working in Alzheimer’s research.

"You have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s," Gates wrote about his recent initiative. "In the United States, it is the only cause of death in the top 10 without any meaningful treatments that becomes more prevalent each year. That trend will likely continue as baby boomers age, which means that more families will watch their loved ones suffer from cognitive decline and slowly disappear. Despite this growing burden, scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes Alzheimer’s or how to stop the disease from destroying the brain."

These donations are personally from Gates and not a part of his well-known Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read Gates' extended thoughts on this recent move on his blog.