It was discovered 100 years ago, but has treatment of Alzheimer's progressed?





One hundred years ago today, on 3 November 1906, Alois Alzheimer, psychiatrist and pathologist, presented the first case of the disease that later came to bear his name in Tubingen Germany. The patient, Auguste D, developed dementia in her 50s and was so restless and confused that doctors prescribed balneotherapy - day long immersion in a lukewarm bath - to soothe her. When she was at her worst they knocked her out with chloroform.

Today, treatment has changed, but little else. Alzheimer's disease is estimated to affect 25 million people worldwide, and the numbers are rapidly rising as the population ages. Doctors no longer use lukewarm baths, but may try soothing them with music, aromatherapy, pet therapy or a variety of cognitive and behavioural techniques.



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