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August 24, 2010
Alzheimer's: Down With Amyloid?
Here's a fascinating short interview with Mark Smith of Case Western, a leading anti-amyloid-hypothesis guy in the Alzheimer's field. As you'd imagine, he's taking the recent failure of Lilly's gamma-secretase inhibitor in stride.
As you might imagine, he's not shy:
"Everything comes down to how one interprets data. There is a lot of scientific noise out there and most people like to play “follow the leader”. The structure of granting agencies actually discourages anything else. I sense the tide turning but think that the dead horse will be likely flogged for a while yet. For example, the Alzheimer’s field is already moving toward earlier and earlier “diagnosis”. Until these people are subjected to anti-amyloid approaches the field will continue [to support the amyloid theory].
I have received a lot of stick for my scientific talks where for over a decade I have challenged the amyloid hypothesis. I typically tell the audience that my views are controversial and that I would really appreciate someone pointing out a flaw in my logic or presenting evidence that shows that I am wrong. Neither has ever happened."
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