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Major fraud in Alzheimer's study? (Nature vs. Science)

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A now-seminal study published in 2006 provided evidence that the toxic accumulation of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain was tied to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, an assistant professor from Vanderbilt University suggested that some of the images in this study were manipulated by the authors. What does all of this mean?

In 2006, a group of researchers from the University of Minnesota published a dementia-related study titled in the journal NatureTcalled “A specific amyloid-β [beta-amyloid] protein assembly in the brain impairs memory.” The study provides evidence supporting a specific protein clump in the brain, known as beta-amyloid, as a cause for Alzheimer’s disease.

The study used a mouse model to show how these protein clumps — also known as amyloid plaques— could cause dementia.

Because of its findings, this study became very influential in Alzheimer’s disease research. To date, it has been cited in over 2,200 scientific papers and accessed more than 34,000 times.

Now an article recently published in Science reports that an assistant professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University believes some of the images were manipulated in the 2006 Nature study, calling into question the validity of its findings.

Dr Martenson synthesizes the findings in this recent video:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just yesterday read in a book about the topic (Science Fictions: Exposing Fraud, Bias, Negligence and Hype in Science), here the links from it:


Sharon Begley, ‘The Maddening Saga of How an Alzheimer’s “Cabal” Thwarted Progress toward a Cure for Decades’, STAT News, 25 June 2019; https://www.statnews.com/2019/06/25/alzheimers-cabal-thwarted-progress-toward-cure/

Yan-Mei Huang et al., ‘Major Clinical Trials Failed the Amyloid Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s Disease’, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 67, no. 4 (April 2019): pp. 841–44; https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15830; and Francesco Panza et al., ‘A Critical Appraisal of Amyloid-β-Targeting Therapies for Alzheimer Disease’, Nature Reviews Neurology 15, no. 2 (Feb. 2019): pp. 73–88; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41582-018-0116-6

Karl Herrup, ‘The Case for Rejecting the Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis’, Nature Neuroscience 18, no. 6 (June 2015): pp. 794–99; https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4017

Judith R. Harrison & Michael J. Owen, ‘Alzheimer’s disease: The amyloid hypothesis on trial’, British Journal of Psychiatry 208, no. 1 (Jan. 2016): pp. 1–3; http://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.115.167569




AFAIR, many times reading and listening to different people talking about the topic I paid attention about wording accuracy regarding amyloid, it seems not even because of the fraud expectation but because of "immanent" scientific research problems surrounding the topic many people just do not take the amyloid hypothesis as a strong thing



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