New research into the relationship between humans and worms has brought to light findings that could help those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
A molecular analysis of marine creatures found that humans have a close evolutionary link to tiny, flatworm-like organisms called Acoelomorphs, according to research published in journal Nature.
These worms could be used to gain an insight into brain development and human neurodegenerative diseases, furthering understanding of animal models used to study these diseases.
Professor Leonid Moroz, of the University of Florida College of Medicine, said: "It was like looking under a rock and finding something unexpected.
"We've known there were very unusual twists in the evolution of the complex brains, but this suggests the independent evolution of complex brains in our lineage versus invertebrates, for example, in lineages leading to the octopus or the honeybee."
Meanwhile, new software designed to improve recollection and conversation in people with dementia has been released by Digital Reminiscence Therapy Solutions.