In 1901, a woman called Auguste Deter was taken to an asylum in Frankfurt, she couldn’t remember very simple details about her life and she was delusional. There she met a doctor called Dr Alois Alzheimer who cared for Auguste until she died in 1906. After she died, Dr Alzheimer performed an autopsy and he found something in Auguste’s brain which he and his colleagues had never encountered before- very unusual plaques and tangles which are now the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Auguste Deter was the first patient to be diagnosed with what we know now to be Alzheimer’s disease. Back in 1906, Dr Alzheimer had no idea how to help Auguste and even though modern medicine has come a long way since 1901 we still have no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.