News & CommentScience History

Auguste D. and Alzheimer's Disease

Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 28
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.28

Summary

Psychiatrists at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, have unexpectedly unearthed a long-lost treasure: the original case file of Auguste D., a 51-year-old woman who came under the care of Alois Alzheimer in 1901 and who is generally thought to be the first recognized patient with the disease that bears his name. Ironically, however, it now appears that Auguste D.'s dementia may have been at least partly caused, not by the typical neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's, but by arteriosclerosis of the brain.