New research has brought clues to a protein that may someday assist in the creation of medications to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The medical advance is thanks to the work of Sonia Do Carmo, a biological sciences Ph.D student from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Physorg.com reports.
Do Carmo and her research team successfully demonstrated "the protective and reparative role of apolopoprotein D (ApoD) in neurodegenerative diseases.
By discovering how ApoD interacts with those diseases, the researchers have opened doors to possible future treatments for preventing and slowing the progression of the debilitating conditions, according to the article.
It also brings forward past research from Professor Eric Rassart, who first theorized about ApoD's function a decade ago. Rassart supervised Do Carmo during the study.
Using two types of mice, one with increased levels of ApoD and one without, the researchers injected "neurodegenerative agents" and found the mice with the protein fared better in battling the diseases, states Physorg.com.
While promising, Rassart told the website more research needs to be done before medication can be produced.
"We have successfully demonstrated the role of ApoD, but now we need to understand the action of this protein," said Rassart.