Alois Alzheimer life and biography

Alois Alzheimer picture, image, poster

Alois Alzheimer biography

Date of birth : 1864-06-14
Date of death : 1915-12-19
Birthplace : Marktbreit, Bavaria
Nationality : German
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-11-29
Credited as : psychiatrist, neuropathologist , Alzheimer's disease

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Alzheimer is credited with identifying the first published case of "presenile dementia", which Kraepelin would later identify as Alzheimer's disease.

In 1906, German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer summarized the case of Auguste Deter, who had told him early in her treatment, "I have lost myself." She had been a normal, healthy woman, but beginning at age 51 she developed progressive memory lapses, disorientation, aphasia (inability to use language), and she had grown unable to care for herself, eventually dying at the age of 55. After her death, Alzheimer examined her brain under his microscope, and described the plaques that had accumulated in the ordinarily empty space between nerve cells, and tangles of string-like substances, now known to be characteristic of the disease that bears Alzheimer's name.

Prior to his most famous discovery, Alzheimer worked under Emil Kraepelin at the Royal Psychiatric Clinic, and practiced at the Municipal Hospital for Lunatics and Epileptics in Frankfurt. His other research focused on epilepsy, Huntington's chorea, and general paralysis among the insane. In 1995, Eli Lilly purchased the house where Alzheimer was born, and it is now a conference center and memorial.

In mid-December 1915, Alzheimer fell ill on the train on his way to the University of Breslau, where he had been appointed professor of psychiatry in 1912. Most probably he had a streptococcal infection and subsequent rheumatic fever and kidney failure. He died of heart failure at the age of 51 in Breslau, Silesia.

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