Researchers may have a new tool in the fight to cure neurological diseases after they discovered the role of an important brain protein which helps store learning as long-term memories.

In a study published in Nature Neuroscience, they said further research into the Arc protein‘s role could help in finding new ways to fight neurological diseases. The protein might also be connected to autism.

Research has also revealed the protein is lacking in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Scientists recently discovered that Arc is depleted in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.