Alzheimers Disease was discovered in 1901
by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a leading neurologist in Germany.
The concerned family of a 51 year old woman requested his help. The woman was having memory problems. She was also beginning to have problems with understanding the words when people were talking to her and increased difficulty speaking.
He accepted her as his patient and she lived at the asylum for the next four years until her death. Her condition steadily deteriorated. The confusion increased and she became very suspicious and agitated. As the disease progressed she began to wander around aimlessly and would scream when bedridden. She eventually became incontinent and was completely unaware of her surroundings.
Her symptoms progressed rapidly and she died in 1905. Dr. Alzheimer was intrigued by this strange illness. He performed an autopsy and discovered brain shrinkage, fatty deposits, dead brain cells, and abnormal deposits in and around cells. He discovered the neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques which are now the defining characteristics of Alzheimers Disease. He published his findings in 1907 and this new disease was named after him.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that scientists realized the connection between the symptoms and the plaques and tangles in the brain. It was at this point the scientists realized this condition was not a normal part of the aging process. The scientific community began to fully research this disease in the 1970’s. This research has led to a better understanding of the disease and treatments to help slow the process. At this point in time there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.
There have been many studies completed on Alzheimers and may theories.
Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. Less than 1 percent of the time, Alzheimer’s is caused by specific genetic changes.
Diet is a large contributing factor to the development of Alzheimers Disease. Alzheimers Nutrition has more information on the diet connection