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AARP Invests $60M in Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease Research

The $60 million investment will support the Dementia Discovery Fund’s (DDF) efforts to develop breakthrough treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

AARP will invest $60 million in dementia and Alzheimer's research

Source: Thinkstock

By Jessica Kent

- The AARP’s  Brain Health Fund will invest $60 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) to accelerate the development of innovative treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which have profound impacts on long-term population health management.

“Dementia is a complicated illness,” said JoAnn Jenkins, CEO of AARP.

“Hundreds of clinical trials have failed, and some advances once thought to be promising have turned into dead ends. Several drug companies have stopped conducting research. A new approach is needed.”

DDF was founded in 2015 to explore new methods of dementia research, and the fund has already invested in 16 organizations that are working to develop innovative therapies for the disease.

This research will be vital for dementia treatment as the condition becomes more and more prevalent.

“More than 6 million people in the United States suffer from various types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and those numbers are growing at an alarming rate,” said Jenkins.

“Based on current projections, by 2050 that number will exceed 16 million, or about 1 in 5 Americans age 65 and older.”

This investment will build on AARP’s efforts to address and fulfill the needs of aging populations, as well as efforts from other individuals and organizations to accelerate effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In 2017, Bill Gates made a $50 million investment in DDF to support precision medicine research and advance innovative treatment development.

NIH also recently convened a group of leading experts to discuss how to best foster a collaborative research environment and use precision medicine to ultimately discover a cure for these chronic, degenerative conditions.  

With this investment, AARP will continue to promote brain health, support the advancement of dementia treatment and prevention, and eventually help researchers work toward finding a cure.

“AARP has long been committed to raising awareness of dementia-related illnesses and educating people age 50 and older — and their caregivers — on how to maintain brain health while supporting those who suffer from dementia,” said Jenkins.

“This investment in the DDF also provides hope for the future by recognizing that the urgent need to find better treatments will require cooperation among researchers, public health agencies and investors.”

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