Bill Gates has opened up about his reason for pouring $100 million into the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
The tech billionaire, now philanthropist, has revealed to the world that his 92-year old father, Bill Gates Sr., suffers from the disease. He spoke about it on an episode of the TODAY show, as part of a segment called “Brain Power”.
“I have a father who’s affected deeply by it. Only by solving problems like this can we take these medical costs and the human tragedy and really get those under control.
“More and more people are getting Alzheimer’s, and it’s a tragic disease.”
As the numbers affected by the life changing disease increases, the cost to care for those has drastically increased. In 2017 alone, Americans spent about $259 billion caring for Alzheimer’s patients. Besides financial costs, it can have an extremely emotional impact on families taking care of their loved ones plagued by the disease.
Gates said that $50 million from his donation will go specifically to the Dementia Discovery Fund, which supports research and development towards finding new cures and treatment options.
He believes that too much money is being spent on traditional treatment methods which are proving to be ineffective in the long run, and wants to fund a program that looks into radical new methods to better treat the disease, or even cure it.
To fast-track treatments for those with Alzheimer’s, Gates designated the remaining $50-million to fund a national patient registry, one that will speed up recruitment for clinical trials, and a groundbreaking international database for research that will help scientists share data, and perhaps collaborate, with one another.
Gates also mentioned that he is worried about potentially developing the disease himself as he gets older, and says that his $100 million donation is only the start of the journey.