Scientists and researchers have uncovered how inflammation and lack of oxygen work together to cause brain damage in conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

The discovery, published today in Neuron, brings researchers a step closer to finding potential targets to treat neurodegenerative disorders.

Chronic inflammation and hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, are hallmarks of several brain diseases, but little was known about how they contribute to symptoms such as memory loss.

Since the brain uses most of the oxygen it is usually damaged when there is hypoxia.