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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

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Bill Gates Investing $50 Million to Help Alzheimer’s Research — And It’s Personal

Bill Gates

Seattle, WA, November 16, 2017 — Lindsey Bever reports in The Washington Post that Bill Gates is personally investing $50 million to help fund research to find a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia Gates says has struck members of his own family.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, which destroys memory and other mental processes, so Gates said he is investing his own money in the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public partnership to search for a solution.

“It’s a terrible disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones,” the philanthropist wrote on November 13 on his blog.

“This is something I know a lot about, because men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer’s,” Gates blogged.  “I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.”

Gates added, “My family history isn’t the sole reason behind my interest in Alzheimer’s. But my personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease.”

Gates noted that he, personally, is not without his own worries.

“Anything where my mind would deteriorate, I have to say I would be disappointed thinking about complex problems,” he told CNN. “I hope I can live a long time without those limitations.”

Alzheimer’s, said to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, affects more than 5 million Americans — a number expected to spike to as high as 16 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Although medication and other therapies may ease the symptoms, they do not slow the progression.

“We don’t really have anything that stops Alzheimer’s, and so the growing burden is pretty unbelievable,” Gates said in an interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been committed to global public health, including infectious diseases in developing countries, but as CNN reported, this is the first time Gates has focused on a solution for a noncommunicable disease.

For the full story, click here.