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New Hope for Fading Memories: Alzheimer's Disease

Author(s): Ronald McNeel DrPH

Disease Discovery

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is named after the German doctor, Alois Alzheimer, who discovered two abnormal structures in the brain of a woman who died of an unusual mental illness in 1906. Dr. Alzheimer found abnormal clumps (now called beta-amyloid plaques) and tangled nerve bundles (now referred to as neurofibrillary tangles) in the patient's brain. Today, these abnormal structures are the focus of much research. The presence of either of is considered a sign of AD.