Alois Alzheimer Biography
Aloysius Alois Alzheimer, better known as Alois Alzheimer was a German neurologist and psychiatrist, recognized for being the first to identify the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. He was born in Marktbreit, Germany on June 14, 1864, and was the son of Eduard Alzheimer and Barbara Theresia Busch. Since he was a child he was interested in everything related to science.
He completed his medical studies at the universities of Tübingen, Berlin, and Würzburg, so in 1887 he graduated as a doctor. A year later, he began work as a resident doctor in the hospital for the mentally ill and epileptic in Frankfurt, where he remained for 7 years and was promoted to the chief doctor. At that time, Alzheimer studied psychiatry and neuropathology. He also met the neurologist Franz Nissl, with whom he made several investigations on the pathology of the nervous system. This work gave rise to the six volumes of histological and histopathological studies of the cerebral cortex, published between 1906 and 1918.
For the month of April of the year 1894, he married Cecilia Alzheimer Geisenheimer, with whom he had 3 children.
In the year 1901, Alzheimer met Auguste Deter, a 51-year-old woman with strange behaviors and increased short-term memory loss. The patient became an obsession for Alzheimer, and he started doing many studies during the following years.
In search of a place to combine research with clinical practice, Alois Alzheimer became Emil Kraepelin’s research assistant at the Munich School of Medicine, where he led a new laboratory for brain research. At that time, he published several articles related to brain conditions and diseases.
For the year 1906, after several analyzes and studies in the patient, Alzheimer identified an uncommon disease of the cerebral cortex, which caused loss of memory, disorientation, and hallucinations to finally reach death. This was what had caused Auguste Deter’s death.
In the year 1907, he was at the psychiatric convention of Tubingen, where he explained the case of who had been his patient, emphasizing that of the post-death analysis of the brain, which showed a shortage of cells in the cerebral cortex and groups of filaments located between nerve cells.”
Finally, in the year 1910 Emil Kraepelin, published his treatise “Psychiatry” where he defined the new form of dementia discovered by Alois Alzheimer, calling it “Alzheimer’s disease.”
For the year 1912, King William II of Prussia hired him to work at the University of Breslau, naming him professor of psychiatry and director of the Neurological and Psychiatric Institute.
He was co-founder and co-publisher of the journal “Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie.” In his career, he did not write works by himself, he always chose to work in a group.
Alois Alzheimer died on December 18, 1915, in Wroclaw at the age of 51 years, because of an infection that he acquired from streptococcus during a train trip, which generated fever, kidney failure, and strong flu.