New research suggests that the body's immune system can be used to combat Alzheimer's disease.
A team from Yale University has revealed that removing part of the immune system cleared away deposits of amyloid plaques and improved the memories of mice.
Writing about their discovery in the journal Nature, the team noted that it was as though a "vacuum cleaner" had been working on the brain and over 90 per cent of the harmful deposits were eradicated.
In follow up tests, the mice's memories were found to be considerably improved.
Dr Terence Town, one of the researchers, claims that this discovery may lead to the development of a drug which can be used to treat the condition in humans.
Speaking to the BBC about the development, Dr Susanne Sorenson, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said "These inflammatory reactions could play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's, which may have previously been overlooked."
The Alzheimer's Research Trust recently claimed that there is not enough funding for research into dementia.