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[Editorial] Alzheimergate? When miscommunication met sensationalism

On Sept 5, The Lancet was alerted by a UK Government source to the impending publication of a Nature paper allegedly about the possible transmission of Alzheimer’s disease. The source was anxious about the likely media coverage and the potential for a public health scare. Although the UK’s Science Media Centre was involved in helping to communicate the findings reported in the paper accurately, our source urged us to consider what we might do to reduce further the risk of a scare. We wrote to the Science Media Centre, explaining our understanding of the potential alarm and asking if we could help in some way.