In 1906, the German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer described the first case of primitive dementia (which would then take its name) at a psychiatric congress held in Tübingen. It was a 51-year-old woman, Auguste D .; this is what we can read in the notes of Dr. Alzheimer, recently found in an archive in Frankfurt:
"What's your name ? "Auguste".
"Your surname?" "Auguste".
"Your husband's name?" "Auguste".
The studies that Alzheimer's had conducted under the microscope on the brains of dead patients at a relatively young age had allowed him to identify peculiar tangles of neurofibrils; these, together with the so-called "senile plaques" (aggregates of dead nerve cells surrounding a substance called amyloid), are still today
considered among the major "neuropathological" signs of Alzheimer's disease. In other words, since the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is never certain but only probable, confirmation can only come from the finding of senile plaques and neurofibril aggregates at post mortem examination (ie autopsy) of the ill.