A new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry last week has added to the understanding of the toxicity of amyloid plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Scientists studied small fibrils which make up amyloid plaques, discovering that the shorter they are, the more toxic their effects, adding to the developing knowledge of the deposit as a whole.
Dr Susanne Sorensen, the head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said that some potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease focus on the breaking up of these amyloid plaques, so it is important to understand whether such approaches could potentially make the problem worse.
She continued: "These findings are a valuable step in understanding why nerve cells die in the presence of amyloid and could contribute to research into finding better treatments to prevent nerve cell death."
Dementia research is "desperately underfunded" but the right investment can help defeat it once and for all, Dr Sorensen concluded.