Bill Gates commits 00 million to help fight Alzheimer's

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has set his sights on solving a new problem: Alzheimer's disease.

Gates has committed $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund in an effort to help fund research to fight Alzheimer's disease. Gates says he will follow the initial investment up with another $50 million for start-ups working in Alzheimer's research.

As people continue to live longer, Gates says on his blog, the more at risk they are for developing diseases like Parkinson's or arthritis. But of all potential age-related conditions, Alzheimer's poses a "particularly big threat to society," Gates says.

This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life. It's a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough. People should be able to enjoy their later years—and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer's to fulfill that. I'm excited to join the fight and can't wait to see what happens next.

Rather going through his usual philanthropic route, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates says this investment is a personal one. After spending a year speaking with experts, the Microsoft co-founder says he is hoping to see progress in five key areas: Understanding how Alzheimer's unfolds, earlier detection methods, more approaches to stopping the disease, easier enrollment in clinical trials, and using data better.