SEATTLE -- Bill Gates said he's giving $50 million to help fight Alzheimer's disease.

The Microsoft co-founder said Monday that the donation to the Dementia Discovery Fund is personal and not through his charitable foundation.

The London-based private fund is backed by government, charities and pharmaceutical firms and seeks new treatments for the progressive, irreversible neurological disease.

In a statement, Gates said men in his family have suffered from Alzheimer's. He said he's hopeful that in time Alzheimer's could be a chronic condition treatable with medication.

Gates said the first treatments for the disease might not be feasible for a decade or more and would initially be expensive. He said the Gates Foundation might consider how to expand access in poorer countries when treatments are developed. (AP)