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Forgetfulness

Ezkerrean, Alois Alzheimer psikiatra; eskuinean, Auguste Deter pazientea. 1901ean “ahanzturaren gaixotasuna” diagnostikatu zion.
Ezkerrean, Alois Alzheimer psikiatra; eskuinean, Auguste Deter pazientea. 1901ean “ahanzturaren gaixotasuna” diagnostikatu zion.

Frankfurt, Germany, 1901. The psychiatrist and neurologist Alois Alzheimer first saw the patient Auguste Deter. The 51 year old German housewife was a strange case. "The patient is sitting and seems unprotected," Alzheimer said: "What's your name? Auguste. What is your husband's name? Auguste, I think. He doesn't seem to understand the question."

At that time, Alzheimer thought that psychiatric illnesses could be other diseases, like those of the body, and he was looking for a case to prove it, which Auguste Deter gave him. Memory and comprehension loss, aphasia, disorientation, unpredictable attitude, paranoia and evident psychosocial disability were some of Deter's symptoms. Alzheimer's called her "forgetfulness disease."

In the 1990s, the director of the psychiatric hospital of Frankfurt was Conrad Maurer, and came to a clear conclusion: The methods and diagnoses used by Alzheimer's were completely correct, almost a century later Maurer wouldn't change anything.

Deter was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in Frankfurt for five years. And the psychiatrist manually recorded the evolution of the patient. “I have taught him pen, pen, wallet, keys, newspaper and a cigarette, and he has identified them correctly,” he wrote. “When you have to write Frau Auguste D. writes the word frau and then we have to repeat the rest of the words because they forget.” And later: “The patient cannot advance in writing and insists on “I am lost”.

In the 1990s, the director of the psychiatric hospital of Frankfurt was Conrad Maurer. Maurer discovered there all the content written by Alzheimer's. The discovery allowed him to reconsider the case from the top down and came to a clear conclusion: The methods and diagnoses used by Alzheimer's were completely correct, almost a century later Maurer would not change anything.

==Death==Auguste Deter died on April 6, 1906. Alzheimer's immediately examined the patient's brain samples under a microscope and observed that the cerebral cortex was narrower than normal and atrophied. He discovered plaques and neurofilaments that served to explain the disease. And today is still the cause of the disease. At the end of this year, 37 South Germany. At the Psychiatric Congress he explained the case in detail to his colleagues. Another specialist suggested that he should name the disease.

Alois Alzheimer died in 1915 at the age of 51, not knowing that Alzheimer’s disease would affect millions. And not knowing that 120 years later, the same method would be used to diagnose dementia itself. She only needed one patient to remember her name for a long time linked to forgetfulness.


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