Anyone who serves as a home health aide or a skilled nurse in senior living communities has encountered a degenerative brain disease called Alzheimer’s Disease. Now, much of our knowledge of this disorder is available, thanks to the German physician named Alois Alzheimer.
The disease that we know as AD came to Dr. Alzheimer’s attention in 1906 when he surveyed the remains of a woman who had died of an unknown illness. She was clearly suffering from a mental disorder. She had memory loss, difficulty in speech, and irrational changes in behavior. This prompted Dr. Alzheimer to perform an autopsy on the unnamed patient’s brain.
Nowadays, doctors and staff of any assisted living facility in Miami are aware that clumps of protein and tangled nerve fibers are behind Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms. The results of Dr. Alzheimer’s autopsy revealed for the first time the presence of these physiological features in the brain and pioneered the study of the disease.
As time progressed, other experts were also able to observe the loss of neural connections in the brain. These are responsible for loss of motor function in some patients with Alzheimer’s.
Thanks to Dr. Alzheimer, the world now has a wider understanding of the eponymous disease that he discovered. His studies formed the roots of Alzheimer’s Disease research. In addition, they led to the treatment and care modalities that patients have access to nowadays.