[00:00.00]This is What’s Trending Today…
[00:02.88]Billionaire Bill Gates has made a $100-million investment to help researchers find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
[00:14.76]The brain disease causes people to slowly lose their memory and mental abilities as they grow old.
[00:24.31]Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, said Monday he has given $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund.
[00:34.88]The London-based fund aims to bring business and government together to seek treatments for the brain-wasting disease.
[00:46.01]Another $50 million will go to start-up groups working in Alzheimer’s research, Gates said.
[00:54.85]The money is a personal donation and not from his charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
[01:05.15]“Bill Gates” trended worldwide on social media Monday.
[01:10.56]Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the most common form, affects close to 50 million people worldwide.
[01:20.53]It is expected to affect more than 131 million by the year 2050, the Alzheimer’s Disease International group says.
[01:32.97]“It’s a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy - even for the people who stay alive - is very high,” Gates told the Reuters news agency.
[01:47.78]Despite many years of research, scientists have not found a treatment that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
[01:57.59]Current drugs can do no more than ease some of the effects.
[02:04.01]But Gates said he is hopeful that treatments can be found, even if they might still be more than 10 years away.
[02:13.18]Gates’ usual health focus is on helping fight infectious diseases in poorer countries.
[02:21.54]He said Alzheimer’s became his mission partly for personal reasons, and partly because it has been so difficult to find effective treatment.
[02:34.75]Some men in his family have suffered from Alzheimer’s, he said.
[02:41.29]In a blog post about the investments, Gates wrote,
[02:46.41]“I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity.
[02:54.82] It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.”
[03:02.20]And that’s What’s Trending Today…
[03:04.66]I’m Ashley Thompson.