Team Develops Plan to Globally Crowdsource Breakthrough Innovations to End Alzheimer’s

(Note: There will be a media briefing and Q&A at 11am EDT September 7
by Alzheimer’s XPRIZE team participants. Dial-in #800-550-1215,
International 1-213-233-3011. Please RSVP to Robyn Reynolds at

WASHINGTON & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Frustrated by the absence of public urgency and funding to stop
Alzheimer’s—and the slow pace of science—a world-class team of
scientists and advocates are joining forces to globally crowdsource a
new 21st century approach to leapfrog scientific progress and overcome
many of the obstacles to stopping this horrific disease.

The call to discover breakthrough new technologies for brain health is
intended to activate interest from a broad spectrum of expert and lay
innovators worldwide—from fields as wide-ranging as artificial
intelligence, bio-technology, precision pharmaceuticals, physics, video
games and brain hacking—to focus their talents and ingenuity on
detecting the earliest moments of Alzheimer’s.

With unprecedented global aging, unless Alzheimer’s disease is
stopped—and stopped soon—it will become the health, social and financial
sinkhole of the 21st century,” said Ken Dychtwald, PhD,
Founder and CEO of Age
, and a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough team.

At the XPRIZE Visioneers Summit in early October, the Alzheimer’s
Breakthrough team will present their innovative proposal—in competition
with four other teams focused on other global grand challenges including
clean air, zero waste mining, cybersecurity and re-imagining
democracy—to a group of 300 scientists, academics, visionaries and
funders who will determine which of the prize concepts are “certified to

The original idea of an Alzheimer’s Breakthrough team was conceived by
psychologist/gerontologist Dychtwald and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder
and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, in the fall of 2012.
Dychtwald was captivated by XPRIZE’s bold and innovative approach to
solving some of the biggest problems of our time.

According to George Vradenburg, JD, Co-Founder and Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s
and a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough team, “By
employing global crowdsourcing and harnessing emerging technologies, we
are hoping to unleash a new era of interventions and treatments that
would have the best chance of saving lives.”

If we prevent Alzheimer’s, we’re going to unlock vast amounts of human
potential and reduce or eliminate the suffering of tens of millions of
victims and their families,” said Philip Edgcumbe, PhD, a 28-year-old
Canadian scientist, biomedical engineer, entrepreneur and medical
student who is leading the Alzheimer’s team. “There is currently no cure
for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects nearly 50 million people
worldwide and is expected to triple in the coming decades due to
increasing longevity and the global age wave.”

According to Lisa Genova, PhD, a Harvard trained neuroscientist and
best-selling author of Still Alice,If an XPRIZE were launched
to tackle Alzheimer’s, it could change the world’s perception of this
disease—from hopelessness that it will never be cured to a hopeful
expectation that we will soon have a prevention, treatments or even a
cure, much as we’ve seen with tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, polio,
certain cancers, HIV and heart disease.”

More than 100 leading neuroscientists, advocates and exponential
technology experts have contributed their ideas and insights to this
process. Team advisors include: Maria Shriver, activist, journalist,
former first lady of California; Geoffrey Ling, MD, PhD, former Founding
Director of bio-tech at DARPA; Rudi Tanzi, PhD, Professor of Neurology,
Harvard University; Reisa Sperling, MD, Professor of Neurology, Harvard
Medical School; Ajay Verma, MD, PhD, CMO at United Neurosciences; and
Daniel Kraft, MD, Founding Executive Director Exponential Medicine,
Singularity University.


Jeannette O’Connor, 202-302-3268
Robyn Reynolds, 510-899-4004