By Alexandra Thompson Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 17:13 GMT, 11 February 2019 | Updated: 19:24 GMT, 11 February 2019
Part of the brain may be 'dementia-proof', research suggests.
A study that looked at the vital organs of nine people who died from Alzheimer's disease found the sufferers produced proteins which protect against the disease in the brain region known as the cerebellum.
The cerebellum - which controls movement - was not damaged by the disease, unlike five other key regions of the brain.
It is thought the cerebellum undergoes a change at the beginning of Alzheimer's disease which could be the way of the body putting up its defences.
The researchers hope better understanding Alzheimer's onset will help scientists finally find a cure.
Part of the brain may be 'dementia-proof', research suggests (stock)
The research was carried out by the University of Manchester and led by Dr Richard Unwin, from the division of cardiovascular sciences.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and affects more than 520,000 people in the UK, according to the Alzheimer's Society.
The disease has around 5.7million sufferers in the US, Alzheimer's Association statistics show.
The scientists analysed the brains of nine people who died of Alzheimer's, as well as nine others' who died of other causes, including heart disease and cancer.
They mapped 5,825 different types of proteins across six brain regions - 44 of which had never been identified before.
To start, they first analysed three regions of the brain that are known to be affected by Alzheimer's.
These included the entorhinal cortex - which is involved in storing memories; the cingulate gyrus - which processes emotions; and the hippocampus - which regulates both memories and emotions, and is where Alzheimer's starts.
The researchers were surprised to discover the motor cortex - which controls movement, and the sensory