According to the center, more than fifty-two thousand Mississippians have Alzheimer's or a similar condition — a figure that is expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2050. The gift will support the center's efforts to slow and prevent the advances of dementia. Founded in 2010, the center brings together research in risk factors, brain imaging, and genetic technologies related to Alzheimer's, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
In 2013, the foundation awarded $1 million to help fund the center's operations. In recognition of the foundation's cumulative $10 million gift, the center will rename its research arm, which will occupy fifteen thousand square feet at the university's Translational Research Center, after Gertrude C. Ford.
"We invest in people's dreams and visions," said Ford Foundation trustee John Lewis. "This investment is a step toward the end of Alzheimer's disease."