A new study carried out by a team in the US has linked the attacks against a mitochondrial protein to the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Mitochondria, which the report exlians as "energy storehouses of the cell", are compromised by a free radical known as S-nitrosylation, which in turn damages nerve cells and breaks down communication between different parts of the mind.
Dr Stuart A Lipton, the lead researcher who published the report with American journal Science, said: "We now have a better understanding of the mechanism by which beta-amyloid protein causes neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease."
He added that the scientists at the facility "now have a new target for developing drugs that may slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer's".
Earlier this year, scientists in Taiwan revealed that raw shelled soybeans known as Natto are linked with effectively fighting against Alzheimer's disease by preventing the formation of clumps of tangled protein which arise from the condition.
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