When man forgets himself


On November 25, 1901, a desperate husband brings his wife to the Municipal Institution for Lunatics and Epileptic in Frankfurt am Main. The on-duty doctor Alois Alzheimer takes her up.

“What's your name?” – “Auguste.” – “Family name?” – “Auguste.” – “What's your husband's name?” – “I believe Auguste.”

The findings actually seem clear: “dementia” – complete mental confusion. However, the doctor knows such a thing so far only in over 70-year-old patients. Auguste Deter, however, is only 51. Alois Alzheimer records her ordeal in the next four years, mostly in dialogue form. Thus he not only provides the model for a later play and radio play, but above all a detailed description of this neurological disorder, which therefore gets his name.

Today the most common form of dementia

Doctor Arnim Quante, gerontopsychiatrist and head of the memory consultation at the Friedrich von Bodelschwingh Clinic in Berlin, has to deal with patients like Auguste D. daily. Because Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia today.

“First and foremost, patients experience memory problems, especially short-term memory is affected, that is, the patients can not remember well what they have done, for example, a few hours ago, but then there are other disorders in the course of Alzheimer's disease In addition, for example, disturbances of temporal orientation, then the local disorientation is added, then eventually the orientation to the situation and the person itself, before then in the further course neurological symptoms can be added, such as apraxia, they do not remember exactly how they have something to use, right up to a bedriddenness. “

In general parlance, Alzheimer's is primarily considered a “disease of forgetfulness”. That's why many are worried when they notice more or less fuss or memory gaps with themselves or relatives:

No matter what the age, we forget something when you shop, then you have forgotten a product, although you definitely wanted to have it, that's not pathological in the first place. “

Also an increasing with age …

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