A section of protein which helps make up amyloid plaques - a hallmark of Alzheimer’s - could bind with cholesterol according to research published in the journal Science.
Scientists claim this could help explain why, as previously known, cholesterol could increase people's risk of developing the disease.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University found that in cell models, the C99 protein, which is created when the APP protein is cut by the enzyme beta-secretase, bound with cholesterol.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'We have known for some time that cholesterol has a link to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. This exciting research provides us with a potential reason for why this might be. While this is very early stage research, it does point towards a new avenue of investigation which one day could lead us to new treatments.
'One in three people over 65 will develop dementia. Earlier this year the Prime Minister David Cameron committed to doubling funding for dementia research. We must now ensure that this cash injection enables us to create a better life for people with dementia today and ultimately a cure.'
Professor Clive Ballard
Director of Research