You know that pesticides link to Parkinson’s? Never mind…

Parkinson’s Researcher Fabricated Data – Neuroscientist Mona Thiruchelvam agrees to retract two studies linking neurodegeneration to pesticides.

A former assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (UMDNJ) committed research misconduct by fabricating data, according to an investigation by the university and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity (ORI). The ORI, which announced its findings on Thursday (June 28), determined that Mona Thiruchelvam falsified cell count data published in two papers in 2009 in Environmental Health Perspectives and Journal of Biological Chemistry, both of which she has agreed to retract.

Thiruchelvam fabricated stereological cell count data in two studies on how pesticides influence neuronal mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The studies reported the results of 13 new experiments that supposedly counted nigrostriatal neurons in the brains of mice and rats, but an investigation spearheaded by the UMDNJ determined those counts were never taken. The nigrostriatal pathway is a major dopamine circuit in the brain, and loss of neurons in this area is one of the main features of Parkinson’s disease.

The papers slated for retraction investigate the neurological response to the combined pesticides paraquat and maneb, and suggest the pesticide atrazine also has a role in disrupting dopamine pathways. The false data were used to create several summary bar graphs, which Thiruchelvam modified to support the hypothesis that proteasomal dysfunction is higher in males than females with PD, and that exposure to paraquat and maneb enhances this effect.

The Scientist

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4 responses to “You know that pesticides link to Parkinson’s? Never mind…

  1. I would bet that these retracted papers will be cited Ad Infinitum by activities and tree hugging politicians in their effort to ban all pesticides.

  2. I would bet that if all papers would be retracted that should be retracted not that many would be left.

    Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0020124

  3. Eric Baumholder

    Scarlet you are exactly right. The anti-vaxxers are still shouting about autism in spite of Wakefield’s disgrace. The anti-plastic people are still shouting ‘endocrine disruptor’ even though the scientist who invented the scare was also found guilty of research misconduct. The anti-tobacconists are still shouting about second-hand smoke even though the courts tossed the study as junk science. The anti-GMOers are still shouting about organ failure in rats even though the data suggest the rats were subjected to animal abuse. For activists, even the junkiest junk science is just fine.

    • Dear Eric: Can you elaborate on this statement: The anti-plastic people are still shouting ‘endocrine disruptor’ even though the scientist who invented the scare was also found guilty of research misconduct. As someone deeply interested in the phony “endocrine disruptor/low-dose” hysteria, I’d be grateful to learn to whom you refer here. Thanks. Gil Ross MD/ACSH rossg@acsh.org

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