Alzheimer's Pathology, circa 1906

Alzheimer's drawing of a histological section from his second patient, Johann F. Credit: Image supplied by author, obtained from Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Neurologie und Pyschiatrie, 1911." />Alzheimer's drawing of a histological section from his second patient, Johann F. Credit: Image supplied by author, obtained from Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Neurologie und Pyschiatrie, 1911. On

Ralf Dahm
Feb 28, 2009
<figcaption>Alzheimer's drawing of a histological section from his second patient, Johann F. Credit: Image supplied by author, obtained from Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Neurologie und Pyschiatrie, 1911.</figcaption>
Alzheimer's drawing of a histological section from his second patient, Johann F. Credit: Image supplied by author, obtained from Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Neurologie und Pyschiatrie, 1911.

On November 26th 1901, Alois Alzheimer, an assistant physician at the psychiatric institution in Frankfurt, met his now-famous patient, Auguste D., for the first time. Soon into their first conversation, he realized that the 51 year old woman showed symptoms unlike any he had seen before. When Alzheimer asked her questions, her replies didn't match. She also often stopped mid-sentence, as if she had forgotten what she was going to say. She was confused and anxious. Alzheimer was intrigued, but it wasn't until nearly five years later that he got a first glimpse into the underlying pathology.

<figcaption>These drawings, by Alzheimer, depict fibrils twisting around the nuclei from his first patient, Auguste D.</figcaption>
These drawings, by Alzheimer, depict fibrils twisting around the nuclei from his first patient, Auguste D.

When Auguste D. died on April 8th 1906, Alzheimer, then...