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History of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Its history…

By Staff , in History of Disorders , at June 19, 2024 Tags: ,

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Its history spans over a century and involves significant milestones in understanding and managing the condition.

Early History
1901: The disease was first identified by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer. He observed unusual symptoms in a patient named Auguste Deter, including memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior.
1906: Dr. Alzheimer presented his findings on Auguste Deter’s case at a conference. He described the pathological findings of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in her brain, which are now considered hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mid-20th Century Developments
1960s: The term “Alzheimer’s disease” began to be used more broadly to describe dementia syndromes with similar pathological characteristics.
1970s: Advances in neuroimaging and biochemical research led to a better understanding of the disease’s impact on the brain. Researchers began to distinguish Alzheimer’s from other types of dementia.

 

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  7. History of Alzheimer’s Disease

Modern Research and Treatments
1980s: The identification of the amyloid-beta protein as a major component of the plaques seen in Alzheimer’s disease marked a significant breakthrough. The development of the amyloid cascade hypothesis provided a framework for understanding the disease’s progression.
1990s: The discovery of genetic mutations associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s (in genes such as APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2) helped clarify some hereditary aspects of the disease. Cholinesterase inhibitors, the first class of drugs approved to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s, became available.

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