Two decades of Alzheimer's research may be based on deliberate fraud that has cost millions of lives (Daily Kos article)

Pyrrhus

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Two decades of Alzheimer's research may be based on deliberate fraud that has cost millions of lives (Daily Kos article)
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/20...iberate-fraud-that-has-cost-millions-of-lives

  1. In 2019, it was shown that the predominant paradigm (amyloid plaques) for the etiology of Alzheimers Disease was completely wrong, after funding agencies had poured tens of billions of dollars into worthless research over decades, all while refusing to fund any alternative theory of the etiology of Alzheimers Disease. :headslap:
  2. Now, a close examination of the original article that started the research out on the failed paradigm may have manipulated images to produce fraudulent data. :mad:
Excerpt:
Last month, drug company Genentech reported on the first clinical trials of the drug crenezumab, a drug targeting amyloid proteins that form sticky plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. The drug had been particularly effective in animal models, and the trial results were eagerly awaited as one of the most promising treatments in years. It did not work. “Crenezumab did not slow or prevent cognitive decline” in people with a predisposition toward Alzheimer’s.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) narrowly approved the use of Aduhelm, a new drug from Biogen that the company has priced so highly that it’s expected to drive up the price of Medicare for everyone in America, even those who never need this drug. Aduhelm was the first drug to be approved that fights the accumulation of those "amyloid plaques" in the brain. What makes the approval of the $56,000-a-dose drug so controversial is that while it does decrease plaques, it doesn’t actually slow Alzheimer’s. In fact, clinical trials were suspended in 2019 after the treatment showed “no clinical benefits.” (Which did not keep Biogen from seeking the drug’s approval or pricing it astronomically.)

Over the last two decades, Alzheimer’s drugs have been notable mostly for having a 99% failure rate in human trials. It’s not unusual for drugs that are effective in vitro and in animal models to turn out to be less than successful when used in humans, but Alzheimer’s has a record that makes the batting average in other areas look like Hall of Fame material.

And now we have a good idea of why. Because it looks like the original paper that established the amyloid plaque model as the foundation of Alzheimer’s research over the last 16 years might not just be wrong, but a deliberate fraud.
 
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Pyrrhus

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A Science news article with more juicy details:

A neuroscience image sleuth finds signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles, threatening a reigning theory of the disease

In August 2021, Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist and physician at Vanderbilt University, got a call that would plunge him into a maelstrom of possible scientific misconduct. A colleague wanted to connect him with an attorney investigating an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease called Simufilam. The drug’s developer, Cassava Sciences, claimed it improved cognition, partly by repairing a protein that can block sticky brain deposits of the protein amyloid beta (Aβ), a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. The attorney’s clients—two prominent neuroscientists who are also short sellers who profit if the company’s stock falls—believed some research related to Simufilam may have been “fraudulent,” according to a petition later filed on their behalf with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
https://www.science.org/content/art...mages-threatens-key-theory-alzheimers-disease


Read also: https://pubpeer.com/search?q=lesne
BTW, pubpeer provides critical cross-references, in case of doubts.
 

hapl808

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Very depressing and completely unsurprising.

Here's the Science article that the Daily Kos is linking.

https://www.science.org/content/art...mages-threatens-key-theory-alzheimers-disease

And here's the (sadly passed away) Sharon Begley writing in 2019 about the bullying surrounding the amyloid dogma.

https://www.statnews.com/2019/06/25/alzheimers-cabal-thwarted-progress-toward-cure/

As Daily Kos and others noted, the NIH just continues to fund the same theories, even if there's potential fraud. Anything rather than questioning the existing dogma. I wrote to Wittemore at the NIH multiple times, never even got a casual, "Thanks for your thoughts on this difficult subject."

This is my problem. Not that science is hard - that's well known. But that it's mostly held back by how political and egotistical and nasty it is, rather than just hard.
 

hapl808

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I just hate how often we get breathless articles about breakthroughs…that we mostly already knew. Half the Long Covid 'breakthrough' studies are duplicating things that were suspected or proven about ME/CFS for years. When every study has to be re-proven five or even ten years later by a researcher with a better pedigree or more funding or a better publicist, it certainly is discouraging as to the speed of progress.
 
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When every study has to be re-proven five or even ten years later by a researcher with a better pedigree or more funding or a better publicist, it certainly is discouraging as to the speed of progress.
Its getting real old!

I'm so tired of reading: well lots more study and more replications are required,. Then we are told people dont; want to work on research that somebody else already did. So what incentives exist to make progress? Hardly any.

'breakthrough' studies are duplicating things t
Frankly, the Internet world is starting to become nothing but copies of copies of copies. Original thought is lacking.

Some one story appears 100 times in fifty locations, repeated same old worn story.

Everybody online is a journalist, posting something, same old story mostly.

Things keep being sensationalized.

Anybody ever see the You Tube video in which Joseph Gordon Levitt is cruising around in the back of a Cadillac with Seth Rogan?

They discuss how nothing is really original any longer. I should go find that conversation.
 

sunshine44

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I just hate how often we get breathless articles about breakthroughs…that we mostly already knew. Half the Long Covid 'breakthrough' studies are duplicating things that were suspected or proven about ME/CFS for years. When every study has to be re-proven five or even ten years later by a researcher with a better pedigree or more funding or a better publicist, it certainly is discouraging as to the speed of progress.
yess!!!!
 

Hip

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I once had an email exchange with one of the leading researchers investigating the herpes simplex virus theory of Alzheimer's.

This cold sore virus that some people have around their lips is able to get into the brain in those with the APOE-4 mutation of their APOE gene. This Alzheimer's researcher I chatted to is working on the idea that once herpes simplex gets into the brain, it can cause Alzheimer's.

However, she told me her group were having extreme difficulty in getting research funding, because certain influential scientists in the Alzheimer's field take a dim view of the theory that infections could underpin Alzheimer's, and so always try to block any grant applications for studies into viral causes of Alzheimer's.

These people blocking the herpes research grants are I believe the "amyloid mafia", who only fund Alzheimer's studies if they focus on the amyloid plaques.

Thus researchers looking at viral etiologies for Alzheimer's have a very hard time doing their work, due to a major shortage of funding.
 

hapl808

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I once had an email exchange with one of the leading researchers investigating the herpes simplex virus theory of Alzheimer's.
Was it Ruth Itzhaki? She's quoted in the Sharon Begley article.

A molecular neurobiologist at England’s University of Manchester, in 1991 she discovered pathogens — herpes simplex virus type 1 — in the brains of elderly people who had died with Alzheimer’s and carried the most common gene for the disease. It was the first indication that infectious agents might play a role in Alzheimer’s, raising the possibility that eliminating them (and the resulting immune response, including inflammation) might stop or even reverse it.

Nearly half a dozen journals rejected Itzhaki’s paper before it was accepted by the Journal of Medical Virology, not a bad journal but not a leading one. A frequent reason top journals declined to publish her papers, as they did those of other amyloid skeptics, was previous rejections. As one peer reviewer wrote about a funding proposal Itzhaki submitted in 2010, “very few [of your] papers have appeared in the most highly regarded journals.”
 

hapl808

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More on Itzhaki:

Funders did not beat a path to her laboratory door. When Itzhaki was an advisor on a proposed clinical trial of an antiviral drug for Alzheimer’s, one scientist who assessed it for a private foundation wrote, “The novelty of this approach appears to be quite lacking,” according to documents she shared with STAT. To which Itzhaki wondered, the thousands of clinical trials based on eliminating amyloid, which keep getting funded, are novel?

The Alzheimer’s Association awards its Zenith Fellowships to scientists “on the cutting edge” of research, acknowledging that their studies “may not conform to current conventional scientific wisdom or may challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.” Itzhaki thought that described her work to a T, so in 2004 she applied for funding for a study on the role of herpes simplex virus in Alzheimer’s.

The experience was that of an impala asking a pride of lions for support. One of the four reviewers gave her scores of “poor” (3 on a 10-point scale) on key criteria, arguing that because “there is no conclusive evidence for a major role of this pathogen in Alzheimer’s disease,” the research “will not have an impact on advancing the field of dementia research.” A second reviewer called the role of pathogens in Alzheimer’s “a fringe topic.” Although one gave Itzhaki scores of 10 (“outstanding”), the two dismissive reviews sank her chances.
 
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This is my problem. Not that science is hard - that's well known. But that it's mostly held back by how political and egotistical and nasty it is, rather than just hard.
I agree. It's a carry-over from the policies of Academia, which is probably more cutthroat than the Mafia's Five Families, combined.

It's true, as well, of the medical community. There is received wisdom, and then there's what Received Wisdom choses to call 'faulty research', mistaken hypotheses, unproven hypotheses, and unsupported hypotheses.

One of the current bits of Received Wisdom is that ME/CFS is a mental/psychological disorder, with no basis in pathological issues, physiological issues, neurological issues, or genetic ones.

It's a strange, strange world we live in, Mr, Jones .....
 

sunshine44

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I once had an email exchange with one of the leading researchers investigating the herpes simplex virus theory of Alzheimer's.

This cold sore virus that some people have around their lips is able to get into the brain in those with the APOE-4 mutation of their APOE gene. This Alzheimer's researcher I chatted to is working on the idea that once herpes simplex gets into the brain, it can cause Alzheimer's.

However, she told me her group were having extreme difficulty in getting research funding, because certain influential scientists in the Alzheimer's field take a dim view of the theory that infections could underpin Alzheimer's, and so always try to block any grant applications for studies into viral causes of Alzheimer's.

These people blocking the herpes research grants are I believe the "amyloid mafia", who only fund Alzheimer's studies if they focus on the amyloid plaques.

Thus researchers looking at viral etiologies for Alzheimer's have a very hard time doing their work, due to a major shortage of funding.
This is very interesting. I often wonder what is actually happening because the research is there that certain viruses are more prevalent with alzheimers. Similarly with MS as well. It honestly does feel like a mafia of sorts is holding back the next big turn in modern medicine. Its hard to not lose faith in a system that very obviously does not have human beings wellness in the front row.

Where do we go from here?
 

Hip

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Was it Ruth Itzhaki?
It was indeed.

I wrote to Dr Ruth Itzhaki in 2014 to tell her about Dr William Pridgen's anti-herpes simplex protocol for fibromyalgia, based on an antiviral (like famciclovir) combined with a COX-2 inhibitor (like celecoxib). I thought perhaps the same antiviral protocol might be useful in treating herpes simplex-associated Alzheimer's.

Dr Itzhaki explained that her team looked into similar antiviral combinations themselves, and wanted to conduct a clinical trial on Alzheimer's, but found that influential people in Alzheimer's research community [she did not say who, but we know it's the amyloid cabal] see her team's work as heretical, and so block all their research grant applications.


There have been previous articles covering the amyloid cabal, and their failure to get results in Alzheimer's research:

The maddening saga of how an Alzheimer’s ‘cabal’ thwarted progress toward a cure for decades



Some of the latest ideas suggest the amyloid plaque protein found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients is actually created by the immune system in the process of fighting infection. This amyloid protein has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
In Alzheimer's and encephalitis mouse models, and three-dimensional human stem-cell culture models, microbial infection rapidly induces seeding of beta-amyloid deposits and tau tangles. This response protects against the herpes strains and bacterial pathogens in both models. However, this pathological process triggers the innate immune response of neuroinflammation, which causes extensive neuronal death.
Source: here
 

Pyrrhus

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Somewhat ironic that a finding suggesting a role for amyloid pathology in LC and ME can't get funding and that reasons are not given.
:bang-head::bang-head::bang-head:


the research is there that certain viruses are more prevalent with alzheimers. Similarly with MS as well. It honestly does feel like a mafia of sorts is holding back the next big turn in modern medicine.
Not a mafia, just institutionalized bias:

But there's a more historical aspect as well:
  1. In the early 1970's the U.S. CDC effectively declared victory over infectious disease, saying that the success of the public vaccination programs begun in the 1950's had effectively wiped out infectious disease. (Yes, they actually said that!)
  2. Any remaining disease, then, the CDC declared to be "chronic diseases" due to "lifestyle choices", such as smoking, diet, and exercise.
  3. As a result, U.S. government funding agencies declared that they were going to be shifting their research funding from infectious disease to "chronic diseases" due to "lifestyle choices".
  4. In just a few years, hundreds of virologists lost their jobs and there began a surge of epidemiologists looking at "lifestyle choices".
  5. Although this happened almost 50 years ago, we are still suffering from the entrenched biases that were created back then. To see this, simply take a brief look at the current CDC webpage for "Chronic Disease": https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm
  6. For more information on this whole history, see the attached paper by the great epidemiologist Arthur Reingold. (Who, coincidentally, is also a PACE trial critic.)
 

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hapl808

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I guess by the early 70's the vaunted CDC had wiped out all infectious diseases. Of course, other than the ones like syphilis where they were still purposefully withholding treatment and letting black people suffer until 1972. It's so shocking that black people still don't trust the medical establishment. Almost as if horrific treatment in the past makes one less trusting for the future.

Unfortunately the CDC views 'lifestyle choices' as everything from being gay (still blaming monkeypox on that 'lifestyle' choice), to having chronic illnesses (all of us), to being black (I mean, it's really their own fault).

Yep, I'm definitely bitter. Amazing that they marginalize and ridicule you for a few decades and you start to take it personally.