Debunked data corrupts Alzheimer’s treatment

A recent NBC News report says that parts of a respected study of Alzheimer’s disease may be bogus.

The report questions the results of an influential study as well as the images used to support the study’s data.

This week Science magazine uncovered evidence that study papers produced by neuroscientist Sylvain Lesné, may have been doctored.

Science is reporting that more than 20 papers by Lesné are being questioned as well as 70+ instances of possible image tampering.

Dr. Matthew Schrag is a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University.

He has been expressing concerns about the validity of Lesné’s studies for years.

In this month’s Science magazine story, Shrag comes out for the first time as the whistleblower on the alleged fraud of Lesné’s many years of published work.

In his report to National Institute of Health, Dr Schrag explains that it was research published by Lesné backing an experimental Alzheimer’s drug that first caught his attention.

Let’s follow the money here.

Back in August 2012, Dr Schrag requested that the FDA pause clinical trials of an Alzheimer’s drug Simufilam manufactured by biopharmaceutical company, Cassava Sciences.

Cassava was basing the Simufilam science on Lesne’s research.

These allegations that Lesné’s research may have been altered to support Cassava are now being supported by other researchers.

Reuters reports that the US Justice Department has only just recently opened a criminal investigation into Cassava Sciences involving whether the biotech company manipulated research results for its experimental Alzheimer’s drug,

Over the years, Cassava has received more than $20 million from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to support Simufilam studies.

The NIH told Reuters that research misconduct distorts NIH funding decisions, the overall integrity of the research, and the public’s trust in science and resulting outcomes.

Dr Schrag told Science magazine that he came forward restore trust in scientific study and to save lives.

He adds, “You can cheat to get a paper. You can cheat to get a degree. You can cheat to get a grant. You can’t cheat to cure a disease.”

This is a developing story. Stay tuned.