Researchers in the US are embarking on a study to discover the genes responsible for Alzheimer's disease.
The goal of the study, which is being conducted at the Rush University Medical Centre, is to build a large bank of genetic materials from late-onset Alzheimer's patients.
These materials will then be distributed free of charge to investigators studying the disease.
Currently, scientists have recognised one risk factor associated with Alzheimer's and are growing significantly closer to identifying four regions of chromosomes where other risk factors may lie.
Dr David Bennett, director of the rush Alzheimer's Centre, said: "Knowing what genes are involved will help illuminate the underlying processes of Alzheimer's disease and help lead to novel ways to prevent the development and progression of the disease."
According to statistics from the Alzheimer's Society, there are currently 700,000 people living in the UK suffering from a form of dementia.
It predicts that this figure will increase to over a million by 2025.
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