The investigation uncovered evidence pointing to several cases of image manipulation in the work of Sylvain Lesne, a researcher working at the University of Minnesota and author of the 2006 study.
The paper, cited by more than 2,200 academic papers as reference, launched interest in a specific protein called Aβ*56 as a promising target for early intervention in Alzheimer’s disease.
Aβ*56 is beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloids are proteins that have been observed to clog up in the brain, a phenomenon widely believed to be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Several different types of these proteins are potential targets for drugs that treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, reported his concerns about the images to the National Institutes of Health in January 2022. Sciences Two image analysis experts were asked to review Lesné’s published work. They echoed Sharag’s fears.
They identified a total of 20 “suspicious papers” written by Lesny, 10 of which related to Aβ*56, per Sciences.
The post stopped short of alleging misconduct or fraud, stating that the original photos should be investigated to ensure they were manipulated.
The most “obvious” effect of this alleged manipulation is “a waste of NIH funding and a waste of thinking in the field,” said Thomas Sudhoff, a Nobel laureate and a neuroscientist at Stanford University. Sciences.
Several unnamed researchers told Alzforum, an outlet focused on Alzheimer’s disease, that they tried to reproduce the results but were unable to do so. Such work is often not widely reported, as results that invalidate previous work are difficult to publish in academic journals.
“Even if misconduct is rare, misconceptions fed into key nodes in our body of scientific knowledge can distort our understanding,” Schrag said. Sciences.
temper naturethe academic journal that published a 2006 paper, is investigating the allegations about the paper, according to the publisher’s note.
This is the latest blow to the field of beta-amyloid research in Alzheimer’s disease, which recently came under scrutiny after scientists raised concerns about the evidence base supporting the idea that the FDA-approved drug Aducanumab could improve cognition in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the allegations about Lisni’s work are alarming, they do not harm the field of research into amyloid proteins and Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Association said in statements seen by Insider.
“Despite these claims, we must not allow the work of thousands of Alzheimer’s researchers to be undermined – their painstaking efforts are bringing us closer to new therapies vital to the millions of people living with the disease,” Sarah Imarisio, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said in a statement. Seen by Insider.
“There are legitimate questions and criticisms of the amyloid hypothesis, but such questions are an entirely natural and necessary part of science,” she said.
Karen Hsiao Ash, co-author of Lesny’s papers, stands by the role of Aβ*56 in Alzheimer’s disease, noting that scientists in her lab “regularly and frequently detect Aβ*56” in lab mice, as she wrote in a comment on the Alzforum article .
Sciences He was unable to find evidence of image manipulation in Ash’s work, which Lesny was not involved in authoring.
Could not contact Lesné Sciences When they got to comment.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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