Microsoft founder Bill Gates has pledged US$100m (£75m) to research into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr Gates is donating $50m to the Dementia Discovery Fund, which works with industry and Government experts on research, with a further $50m going to start-ups researching Alzheimer’s, Reuters reports.
The US billionaire said: “It’s a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy – even for the people who stay alive – is very high.
“It’ll take probably ten years before new theories are tried enough times to give them a high chance of success. So it’s very hard to hazard a guess [when an effective drug might be developed]. I hope that in the next ten years that we have some powerful drugs, but it’s possible that won’t be achieved.”
Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts the number of people suffering from the condition will more than double over the next thirty years from 50m to 131m by 2050.
Mr Gates has identified five areas for research to be targeted: a better understanding of how Alzheimer’s develops; earlier detection and diagnosis; proliferating the number of approaches to halting the disease; making clinical trials more accessible; and a better use of data.