Scientists have successfully mitigated the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice using the small PHDP5 molecule, reads a study published in the Brain Research journal, Report informs.

PHDP5 is a small synthetic molecule that can penetrate areas of the brain responsible for memory. Conventional drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, which separates the brain and the body’s circulatory system.

Scientists have found that PHDP5 protects against the destruction of synapses—the connections between nerve cells in the brain. They are essential for signaling, which is disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease.

A mouse study found that PHDP5 significantly improved learning and memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. It usually takes about 20 years to develop a drug. However, the authors of the work hope that in the case of PHDP5, research will proceed faster, given the significance of the results.