ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – In 2004, The X Prize Foundation awarded ten million dollars for the first privately built manned spacecraft launched into space twice in two weeks.
Now, the X Prize is creating a new Alzheimer’s X Prize to inspire researchers and increase interest in stopping the disease. The winner will receive a 50 million dollar prize from the foundation.
The new X Prize was proposed by Washington University neurosurgeon Dr. Eric Leuthardt and preventive medicine expert Dean Ornish. Leuthardt says in a few decades, many in the baby boomer generation would be facing a fifty/fifty chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
“Which is a rather scary statistic, because obviously everyone treasures and values their own identify, mind, and memories,” said Dr. Leuthardt.
The details of what qualifies as a cure for Alzheimer’s is still being fine tuned, but Leuthardt says he thinks it will be something like coming up with a way to improve a patient’s cognitive thinking by 25 percent — one year after diagnosis with the disease.