A well-cited discovery in Alzheimer’s disease research Accused of tampering with science magazine. The study, published in Nature in 2006, showed that overproduction of the protein beta-amyloid*56 in the brains of Alzheimer’s mice can lead to impaired memory.

Now the images in the study are accused of being manipulated. It overshadows parts of the so-called amyloid hypothesis, according to which increased production and accumulation of beta-amyloid protein leads to a series of changes in the brain that, over time, lead to Alzheimer’s disease. The study reviewed is described as a major study regarding the importance of small amyloid proteins in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Agneta Nordberg, professor of clinical neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, is surprised that many years will pass before the research findings can be critically examined.

The study is known, but the results have not been replicated by other researchers. Such research is usually forgotten, but it was not, says Agneta Nordberg.

International pharmaceutical companies have focused heavily on beta-amyloid and many clinical trials have been conducted with amyloid antibodies on Alzheimer’s patients without any improvement in memory. The manipulated images may have put research on the sidelines for nearly two decades, but Agnata Nordberg doesn’t express itself quite as strongly, Nobel Prize winner and Alzheimer’s researcher Thomas Sudhoff tells Science.

This incident casts a shadow over the research that has been done and highlights once again the importance of good research ethics, but is unlikely to affect active and future ongoing research on Alzheimer’s disease, says Agneta Nordberg and continues:

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– What is surprising is that when asking for the originals of the photos, there are none. It’s a sign of how important it is to always archive and control data.

Since July, Nature has uploaded the study and urged readers to be careful using the results. Other studies noted in the Science Review also received corrections.