Scientists from the University of Oxford have developed a new way to deliver drugs directly to the brain, raising hopes that more effective treatments could be used to help Alzheimer's disease sufferers.
Any attempt to get drugs into the brain is hampered by the blood-brain barrier - the natural defence against potentially harmful chemicals floating around the body.
However, the team has successfully switched off a gene implicated in Alzheimer's disease in the brains of mice by exploiting tiny particles naturally released by cells, called exosomes, reports the media.
The exosomes, injected into the blood, act as "drugs vehicles" - crossing the normally impermeable blood-brain barrier to the brain where they are needed.
The scientists said the research is still at an early stage and is many years from being tested in people.
But it could also make it easier to treat Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease and muscular dystrophy.
The study has been published in Nature Biotechnology.