Scientific Fraud Case Undermines ‘Amyloid Cascade’ Research

Paris, Friday, July 29, 2022 – There are several hypotheses to explain Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most popular is that of “amyloid cascade” : amyloid plaques are formed by the abnormal accumulation of a protein called “β-amyloid”so they “they are deposited between nerve cells located in the gray matter of the cerebral cortex, causing a dysfunction of the connections between neurons”summarizes the Alzheimer Foundation on its site.

“This hypothesis was raised for the first time in 1991, it originated from the familial forms of Alzheimer’s”says the Parisian Jean-Charles Lambert, director of research at Inserm.

A study published in 2006 in Nature reinforced this hypothesis. Its main author is a Frenchman, Sylvain Lesné, trained in Caen and at that time a researcher at the University of Minnesota. It relates in particular to amyloid beta protein 56 (Aβ*56). Injected into mice, it caused memory problems. What to do with Aβ*56 “a star suspect” in Alzheimer’s disease, Nature reports at the time.

“Sylvain Lesné’s contribution was to find the way in which peptides are more toxic and to show that cognitive functions are altered by the accumulation of plaques, which is easily measured in rodents. While in soluble form, β-amyloids are less of a problem. It accumulates especially in the oligomers that have effects on the patient”explains Professor Philippe Amouyel, Director General of the Alzheimer Foundation at Sciences et Avenir.

Dozens of falsified figures and images

However, according to an investigation in the journal Science, carried out following an alert from a Canadian neurologist, Dr. the scientific literature and brought up the theory of the amyloid cascade.

The investigation carried out by the Science teams indicates that dozens of figures published in the database of articles published in 2006, and images of protein detection plates, would have been falsified, which casts doubt on the validity of the published results.

To date, the researchers involved deny any wrongdoing, but several experts interviewed by the journal Science confirm their impression that this data has been manipulated.

Dr. Schrag, who had not publicly disclosed his role as an informant prior to this article in Science, avoids the word of ” fraud “ and does not pretend to have proven guilt. This would require access to original, complete, unpublished images and, in some cases, raw digital data.
“I focus on what we can see in the published images and describe them as red flags, not definitive conclusions”he told Science.

The authors “they seem to have composed figures by assembling parts of photos from different experiences”declares about her, always to Science, Elisabeth Bik.

“The experimental results obtained may not have been the desired results, and these data may have been modified to… better fit a hypothesis.” »

Let’s also add that the results of the 2006 study published in Nature have never been replicated…

It is also worth noting that the marketing in the United States of two drugs based on the role of the Aβ*56 protein: simufilam and the monoclonal antibody aducanumab had caused great controversy due to the mixed results of clinical studies and/or discussed.

Consequences to temper

With these revelations, the world of Alzheimer’s disease research is put on hold, while the role of
“amyloid cascade” has taken an important place in recent years.

“Most people clearly separate the fraudulent side, intolerable and we can never do enough to expose it, and the fact that these results do not call the amyloid cascade hypothesis into question. We are above all in a battle of specialists”templa Luc Buee, director of the research center “Lille Neuroscience and Cognition”with the Parisian

“Aβ*56 is one of the possible forms of oligomers in this hypothesis, but it is far from the only one. One fraudulent job will not invalidate thousands of other jobs.”
Jean-Charles Lambert also stands out.

Finally, note that Nature has added a “Editor’s Note” In the 2006 study for “I urge readers to be careful” with your results, it’s time to study these suspected fraud.

FH

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