American scientists claim they have pinpointed a protein which plays a key role in the development on Alzheimer's disease.
According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers from Tufts University in Boston found that increasing the level of GGA3 protein prevented the accumulation of the BACE1 enzyme.
It is already known that people with Alzheimer's disease typically have much higher levels of BACE1 than normal, with the enzyme producing a toxin which causes the condition.
The academics now hope that new treatments could be developed for the elimination of this enzyme, says senior author of the study Giuseppina Tesco.
She added: "This insight advances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.
"We hope that our approach will lead to new therapies that treat and prevent Alzheimer's."
There are currently over 700,000 people in the UK living with some form of dementia, with that number expected to reach one million by 2025, according to the Alzheimer's Society.
Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.