Scientists have isolated a killer gene that causes Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers at King's College London believe that by identifying clusterin as a trigger for Alzheimer's they have taken a vital step towards developing treatments to stop the devastating disease.
According to the Daily Express, experts at the university's Institute of Psychiatry believe clusterin sets off a chain of events that causes amyloid-beta, a protein, to start destroying brain cells.
The research will be published in the medical journal Molecular Psychiatry, the report said.
"This important study fills in critical gaps regarding the complex way Alzheimer's takes hold and could lead us towards a new way of diagnosing, targeting and treating the condition more effectively," the report quoted Professor Clive Ballard, director of research for the Alzheimer's Society, as saying.
According to the report, some 800,000 people in the UK have dementia, including more than half with Alzheimer's.
The number of patients is expected to reach a million by 2022, the report added.