In 2009, Richard Rainwater was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a neurodegenerative brain disease that has no known cause, treatment or cure. It affects nerve cells that control walking, balance, mobility, vision, speech and swallowing.
As a result of this diagnosis, the Rainwater Charitable Foundation expanded its focus to include this emerging field of neurodegenerative disease research. Mr. Rainwater assembled a team of the leading physicians and researchers from around the world and charged them with working together to find a cure for PSP and other tauopathies. This group of over thirty principal investigators, dubbed the Tau Consortium, researches the causes, progression and potential treatments of this disease. Tau Consortium members act with urgency and with patients in mind to develop novel approaches and cutting-edge treatments. More recently, the Foundation has expanded its impact within the field through the sponsorship of prize programs, open scientific conferences, and other special initiatives.