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The study is preliminary, cautions William Thies, PhD, the chief medical and scientific officer for the Alzheimer's Association, one of the organizations funding the study.
The new report is the first to describe the presenilin1 gene's "ability to act as a cleanup agent," Thies says. ''It may become useful," he says, although more research is needed.
''One of the important things to remember here is, it's a mouse model," Thies says.
He acknowledges the finding is not of immediate benefit to Alzheimer's patients but may eventually prove useful in terms of treatment. "It may be more important for children of people with Alzheimer's," he says.