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Bill Gates Donates $100 Million to Alzheimer's Research

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Bill Gates has announced his newest mission and investment: To find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for over 60 percent of diagnoses.

According to the Alzheimer's Society, more than 45 million people are estimated to be currently living with dementia worldwide and as the population ages, it is expected to increase to over 100 million by 2050.

"Any type of treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today," he said, but "the long-term goal has got to be cure."

NBC

The billionaire, who also is the richest person on the planet, announced that he plans to make an initial investment of $50 million into the venture capital fund, Dementia Discovery Fund, that finances new treatments for the degenerative disease.

He plans to follow-up his contribution with another $50 million investment in a start-up venture that works in research for Alzheimer's, which currently has no cure.

The Microsoft co-founder is confident that a breakthrough can happen to help treat the disease. With the help of developing better early diagnosis and funding more diverse approaches, he is hoping to improve the quality of life for those who have been diagnosed.

"If we can catch the earliest signs of Alzheimer's, then we're treating a mostly healthy brain, and keeping it mostly healthy. ... It's very difficult to repair the damage once it's done," Dr. James Hendrix, who is head of the Alzheimer Association's Global Science Innovation Team.

So what inspired him to take on this cause now?

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