Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are to begin new research to try and discover the root cause of dementia.
Researchers know that clumps of certain proteins that form in the brain cause the cell death which results in Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
However, how and why these proteins clump together remains a mystery, one which Dr Cait McPhee and her team from the university's School of Physics and Astronomy is aiming to solve.
"Because this problem is common to lots of diseases, we hope that if we can understand how it occurs, it will offer insights into a range of conditions that affect people as they get older," she said.
The study will primarily focus on the insulin protein, but could lead to the assessment of any protein in the body.
According to research from the Alzheimer's Society, around 60,000 deaths each year can be directly attributed to dementia.
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