Research conducted by Sylvian Lesne is under heavy investigation after an in-depth report by Science has suggested that his work on Alzheimer’s might be fraudulent.
According to the article, Lesne’s discovery of the Aβ*56 in rats some several decades ago could possibly be falsified. His discovery was considered extremely important because it was believed this was the cause of Alzheimer’s.
However, fellow neuroscientist Matthew Schrag from Vanderbilt University was headhunted for an investigation into the research conducted by Lesne-who works at the University of Minnesota- by a pharmaceutical company who were developing a drug called Simufilam.
They claimed that research might have been “fraudulent” and even submitted a review to the US FDA.
Schrag begun his investigation and found that images used in the experiments were most likely altered or duplicate images from other journals.
If the research is deemed to be false, it could have a big impact on the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s said Neuroscientist from Stanford University Thomas Sudhof.
“The immediate, obvious damage is wasted NIH funding and wasted thinking in the field because people are using these results as a starting point for their own experiments.”
Science says that the report by Lesne from 2006 has been referenced in over 2000 scholarly articles and that most of the funding towards Alzheimer’s research is in connection to his findings.
It’s been noted by several scientists that his results have not been able to be replicated in other experiments.
Dennis Selkoe from Harvard University said in two papers from 2008 that he could not find the Aβ*56 anywhere within human fluid or tissue, despite Lesne’s results, which did.
Schrag identified more than 20 papers from Lesne that he believes to be “suspect” and majority of them are involving research on the Aβ*56.
“The suspect work not only represents a substantial investment in research support but has been cited … thousands of times and thus has the potential to mislead an entire field of research,” Schrag reported to the FDA.
Lesne is currently under review by his university in conjunction with several complaints.