A group of researchers at the University of Edinburgh are trying to find out the exact reason for which dementia occurs in elderly people.
The researchers have identified proteins in the body which clump together as we get older and say that this is one of the major features in various dementia diseases including Alzheimer's disease. The clumping of the proteins is also responsible for the cloudy vision caused by cataracts which again are a sign of aging.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance are funding this three-year study.
"We know that proteins often bunch together, causing processes in the body to break down," said lead researcher Dr Cait MacPhee, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Physics and Astronomy. "Because this problem is common to lots of diseases, we hope that if we can understand how it occurs, it will offer insights into a range of conditions that affect people as they get older."