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November 1989

Tangles of Ependyma-Choroid Plexus Contain β-Amyloid Protein Epitopes and Represent a New Form of Amyloid Fiber

Author Affiliations

Division of Neuropathology University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(11):1165. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520470015007

To the Editor.  —In a letter to the editor in this journal, Wen and colleagues state "This is the first demonstration that [Biondi ring tangles] contain a β-amyloid protein that forms fibers that are morphologically different from those of neuritic (senile) plaque and congophilic angiopathy amyloid."1If we put aside the question of the propriety of four investigators publishing a scientific observation in a letter to the editor rather than in a peer-reviewed article, we should be interested only in the fact that the authors made such an observation, not necessarily that it was the "first" observation. These comments are not intended to minimize, or even to judge, the potential importance of the contribution of these authors. However, they, like many other authors in the biomedical literature, have succumbed to the temptation to claim pioneer status. Many assertions of priority in the scientific literature are often arcane, if not trivial