Origin of the distinction between Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia

  title={Origin of the distinction between Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia},
  author={Luigi A. Amaducci and Walter A. Rocca and Bruce S. Schoenberg},
  pages={1497 - 1497}
Since the beginning of the century, psychiatrists and neurologists have been arguing about the identity of presenile (Alzheimer's disease) and senile dementia. History reveals that the distinction was originally based on anecdotal clinical observations and that competition among universities was one of the underlying determinants. The personal opinion of Kraepelin played a major role. Given his widespread reputation and authority, he generated a dogma difficult to change. Reports based on large… 

Tables from this paper

Oskar Fischer and the study of dementia
  • M. Goedert
  • Psychology
    Brain : a journal of neurology
  • 2009
Oskar Fischer's work on dementia in the context of his life and time is discussed, which delineated the clinicopathological entity that is now known as Alzheimer's disease.
The two faces of Alzheimer's disease
The clinical signs, course of the disease, and pathological correlates in elderly patients suffering from “mixed dementia of the Alzheimer type,” may differ from those with “purely degenerative Alzheimer's disease” as encountered in relatively young patients.
Alzheimer's Disease
The historical evolution of concepts of senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease are outlined and it is suggested that the evolution of conceptions of the disease have been influenced as much by notions of what constituted "normal aging" as by scientific research concerned with understanding ageassociated neurological diseases.
[Alzheimer and Alzheimer's disease: the present enlighted by the past. An historical approach].
  • C. Derouesné
  • Psychology
    Psychologie & neuropsychiatrie du vieillissement
  • 2008
Beyond the description of the disease termed by his name, Alzheimer's work played a major role in the individualization of arteriosclerotic dementia from general palsy, and in the distinction between vascular and degenerative dementia.
Alzheimer and his disease: a brief history
The present article discusses Alzheimer’s work in the context of his life and time and discusses the most common neurodegenerative disease with more than 25 million cases worldwide and a major medical problem nearing catastrophic levels.
From senility to Alzheimer's disease: the rise of the Alzheimer's disease movement.
  • P. Fox
  • Psychology
    The Milbank quarterly
  • 1989
A biological phenomenon was transformed into a social issue when persons took concerted action to promote Alzheimer's disease as a major social and health problem affecting the elderly.
History of dementia and dementia in history: An overview
Dementia. A review emphasizing clinicopathologic correlation and brain-behavior relationships.
  • H. Chui
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Archives of neurology
  • 1989
Classification of the dementias as cortical vs subcortical embodies the precept that brain substrate is intimately tied to behavior and major progress can be anticipated as diagnostic issues are resolved and biological and state-specific markers emerge.


Incidence of Alzheimer's disease in large mental hospital; relation to senile psychosis and psychosis with cerebral arteriosclerosis.
SYSTEMATIC histologic studies by means of silver-staining techniques of large numbers of brains from autopsies at St. Elizabeths Hospital have demonstrated the widespread distribution of argyrophilic
Observations on the brains of demented old people. B.E. Tomlinson, G. Blessed and M. Roth, Journal of the Neurological Sciences (1970) 11, 205–242; (1968) 7, 331–356
This is a series in which key papers in old age psychiatry are presented with an introduction, commentary by the original author and current update by someone working in the field. A full
Di speciali reperti in un caso di probabile sifilide cerebrale
  • Rivista Sperimentale di Freniatria
  • 1908
Ueber miliare Sklerose der Hirnrinde bei seniler Atrophie
  • Jahrbucher fur Psychiatrie und Neurologie
speciali reperti in un caso di probabile sifilide cerebrale
  • Rivista Sperimentale di Freniatria
  • 1908
Presbiofrenia e sphaerotrichia cerebri multiplex di Fischer
  • Quaderni di Psichiatria
  • 1911
Sul valore nosografico di alcuni reperti istopatologici caratteristici per la senilia
  • Rivista Italiana di Neuropatologia