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Bill Gates announces new call for proposals for innovative Alzheimer’s diagnosis research projects

Tuesday 02 April 2019

On 2 April, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, published a blog post, in which he lays out the importance of finding “a reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use” method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This is important, he states, so that clinical trials to find new treatments can enrol participants at an earlier stage in the disease process and in the most non-invasive, inexpensive way possible. Currently, the best diagnostic tools are brain scans and lumbar punctures (aka spinal taps), neither of which are optimal.

Aside from a possible diagnostic blood test, which he declares could potentially “start being used to recruit patients into Alzheimer’s drug trials within the next year or two”, Mr Gates mentions other interesting research currently being done into changes in speech and writing patterns as possible ways to diagnose AD.

In his blog post, Mr Gates also announces the launch of a new research initiative from the Diagnostics Accelerator programme at the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and encourages researchers with novel ideas in this area to apply.

The Diagnostics Accelerator aims to fast-track technologies that could provide new ways to detect Alzheimer' disease (AD). Together with other highly influential billionaires in the philanthropic arena - including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos - Mr Gates has donated generously to the programme. He has also donated generously to the UK-based Dementia Discovery Fund - a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment.

His interest in this area of research was sparked by his father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, he said in early 2018.

You can read the full blog post, “The unexpected way we might one day diagnose Alzheimer’s”, and find details about the new call for proposals, here:

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/The-unexpected-way-we-might-one-day-diagnose-Alzheimers

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