One hundred years ago, in January of 1907, Alois Alzheimer published his landmark paper about Auguste D. This is a perfect time to sit back and contemplate the field’s past accomplishments and future challenges. The Alzforum editors have compiled some materials to jumpstart your mind on this journey. Enjoy the offerings of this Centennial Page, and write back with your comments.
- View/Comment on What We Know/What We Don’t Know
- View Jennifer Altman's report
- View slideshow. Captions are paraphrased from the book, Alois Alzheimer, His Life and Work with Text and Photographs. Read more...
- Read Andre Delacourte’s comment to gain a historic perspective and to view excerpts to papers predating Alzheimer’s own report of Auguste D’s case.
How far have a hundred years brought us in understanding Alzheimer disease? Alzforum advisory board member Michael Schlossmacher proposed that we focus attention on what we still do not know. With the help of our scientific advisory board, we have attempted to compile a list both of the field’s achievements and the great unknowns. We invite you to review this list, share your observations and comments, and help shape a research agenda for the future of AD research. You can comment on each statement-question pair simply by clicking on the Submit Comment button.
By Gabrielle Strobel
The end of 2006 saw the AD100 Centennial conference in Tuebingen, held on the very day 100 years earlier, and in the same building, where Alois Alzheimer first presented his description of the disease to a decidedly unimpressed audience of fellow psychiatrists. This event is captured in Gabrielle Strobel’s conference report, and her biographical story about the man behind the eponym. Enjoy our photo gallery of conventioneers and other images to put faces to the names of Alzheimerologists you’ve been reading about for years. Make sure to read Jennifer Altman's summary of the scientific talks from the AD100 Centennial conference in Tuebingen. It doubles as a wonderfully concise history of the field. (We thank the IPSEN Foundation for giving permission to post the English version of Jennifer Altman’s report.) An anthology of chapters by the presenters is available from Springer, including a chapter about the origins of the Alzforum.
A special treat for people interested in Alois Alzheimer is a book by his two historians, Konrad Maurer and his wife Ulrike. A psychiatrist himself, Maurer directs the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Frankfurt, and his wife has restored Alzheimer's birth house into a museum and unique meeting venue. To help us celebrate this historic point in time, the authors have generously granted the Alzforum permission to post selected images from their book Alois Alzheimer, His Life and Work with Text and Photographs (2002, Pre-Press Print Production Service and Verlag, Marburg Germany, ISBN 3-935966-05-09) [View slideshow]. The book contains much more information than is highlighted here, for example, original records of Alzheimer's extensive examinations of Auguste D., which document his skill as a clinician and her despair and decline. On behalf of the Alzheimer research community, we express our warmest gratitude.
Lest anyone believe Alzheimer’s contribution was made in a scientific vacuum, ponder Andre Delacourte’s historic perspective. Delacourte has dug up papers predating Alzheimer’s own report of Auguste D’s case, and he has posted excerpts of those old papers on his website for all to enjoy. Delacourte’s comment shows how Alzheimer melded bits and pieces of previous knowledge by other international workers with his own painstaking clinico-pathological observations into a cohesive description of this disease.
A broad review of scientific and clinical research since 1906 is available from IOS Press. Edited by George Perry, Jesus Avila, June Kinoshita, and Mark Smith, this 450-page tome features a diverse set of chapters written by old and new hands of AD research, as well as by lesser known writers who offer new perspectives.
- Tuebingen: Researchers Reminisce, Predict at Alzheimer Centennial
- Tuebingen: The Man Behind the Eponym
- Alzheimer: 100 Years and Beyond
- Alzheimer A. Über eine eigenartige Erkrankung der Hirnrinde. Allgemeine Zeitschrift fur Psychiatrie und Psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin. 1907 Jan;64:146-8.
- Lu PJ, Wulf G, Zhou XZ, Davies P, Lu KP. The prolyl isomerase Pin1 restores the function of Alzheimer-associated phosphorylated tau protein. Nature. 1999 Jun 24;399(6738):784-8. PubMed.