Timeline of Alzheimer's disease

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This is a timeline of Alzheimer's disease, describing especially major discoveries, developments and organizations concerning the disease.

Big picture

Year/period Key developments
Prior to 1890s Early in History, Solon (638 BC–558 BC) relates alteration in judgment to aging. Plato notes that very old age can have influence on madness.[1]
1890s–1960s Period of discovery of Alzheimer's disease, starting virtually with the pioneer work by Alois Alzheimer, until the recognition of the disease in the 1960s.[2][3]
1970s Alzheimer's disease is recognized as the most common form of dementia.[2]
1980s The organic constituents of the two characteristic damages of Alzheimer's disease are identified: Beta-amyloid and Tau protein. Many organizations focused on Alzheimer's disease start to be founded across the world.[4]
1990s Several genes responsible for the inherited transmission of Alzheimer's disease are identified: PSEN1, PSEN2 and Apolipoprotein E-e4.[4] The first vaccine is used in mice.[2][3]
2000s–present At present, there's no cure for Alzheimer's disease.[5] Incidence is higher in developed countries, which correlates with the proportion of senior citizens.[6]

Full timeline

Year/period Type of event Event Location
1892 Discovery French pathologist Paul Blocq and Romanian neurologist Gheorghe Marinescu observe senile plaques for the first time.[1][7]
1898 Development Austrian neurologist Emil Redlich relates senile plaques with senile dementia.[1][8]
1906 Discovery At the 37th annual conference of German psychiatrists, physician Alois Alzheimer describes the case of patient Auguste Deter, who had profound memory loss, unfounded suspicions about her family, and other worsening psychological changes. In her brain at autopsy, Alzheimer sees dramatic shrinkage and abnormal deposits in and around nerve cells.[2][9] Tübingen, Germany
1910 Development German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, a colleague of Alzheimer, first names "Alzheimer's Disease" in the eighth edition of his book Psychiatrie.[2][10][11]
1931 Background German electrical engineer Max Knoll and German physicist Ernst Ruska co-invent the electron microscope, which can magnify up to 1 million times. After World War II the electron microscope becomes common in major research settings, enabling scientists to study brain cells in more detail.[2][12]
1968 Development Researchers develop the first validated measurement scale for assessing cognitive and functional decline in older adults.[2]
1974 Organization The American National Institute on Aging (NIA) is founded.[2] Baltimore, United States
1976 Report Alzheimer's disease is recognized as the most common form of dementia.[2]
1976–1977 Development Three teams, led by Elaine Perry, D.M. Bowen, and P. Davies demonstrate the alteration of central cholinergic systems in Alzheimer's disease.[1][13]
1978 Organization Alzheimer Society of Canada is founded.[14][15] Toronto, Canada
1980 Organization American Alzheimer's Association is founded.[16] Chicago, United States
1980 Organization Alzheimer's Association Japan is founded. It is involved in research and provides support for those affected by Alzheimer's.[17] Kyoto, Japan
1982 Organization Alzheimer’s Australia is founded. It administers leading edge national dementia programs and services and is funded by the Commonwealth.[14][18][19] North Ryde, Australia
1983 Campaign American president Ronald Reagan designates November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month with the purpose of raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.[20] United States
1984 Discovery Researchers George Glenner and Caine Wong identify protein known as amyloid beta, the main component of the amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer patients.[1][2]
1984 Organization Alzheimer Nederland is founded.[14][21][22][23] Amersfoort, The Netherlands
1984 Organization Alzheimer Disease International is founded.[24] London, United Kingdom
1985 Organization Association France Alzheimer is founded. It provides financial help for research.[25][26][27] Paris, France
1985 Organization Alzheimer's South Africa is founded. It provides funds for research.[14][28][29] Bryanston, South Africa
1986 Discovery Belgian physician Jean-Pierre Brion identifies Tau protein as a key component of neurofibrillary tangles, the second pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and another prime suspect in nerve cell degeneration.[2][4]
1987 Discovery Amyloid precursor protein (APP) is discovered. It is the first gene with mutations found to cause an inherited form of Alzheimer's disease.[30]
1988 Organization Federazione Alzheimer Italia is founded. It delivers free training courses for carers, among other activities.[14][31][32] Milan, Italy
1988 Organization Association Alzheimer Suisse is founded. It provides information and help for those affected by Alzheimer's.[14][33][34] Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland
1988 Organization Alzheimer's Association of Israel is founded. In 2008, the association launched “In the Armchair with Picasso” art-kit for therapeutic use on those affected with Alzheimer's. This project has brought attention from geriatric professionals around the world.[14][35][36] Ramat Gan, Israel
1989 Organization Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft is founded. It provides funding for research.[14][37][38] Berlin, Germany
1989 Organization Asociación de Lucha contra el Mal de Alzheimer is founded. It elaborates projects and holds its own scientific committee.[14][39][40][41] Buenos Aires, Argentina
1990 Organization Confederación Española de Familiares de Enfermos de Alzheimer is founded. It represents thirteen federations and six associations within the country.[14][42][43] Pamplona, Spain
1992 Organization Alzheimer's & Related Disorders Society of India is founded. It is the first Afro-Asian organization to receive full membership with Alzheimer Disease International and has an official relationship with the WHO.[14][44][45] Kunnamkulam, India
1992 Discovery Presenilin-1 (PS-1) is identified. It is the second gene with mutations found to cause inherited Alzheimer's disease. Variations in this gene are the most common cause of inherited Alzheimer's.[30]
1993 Discovery Presenilin-2 (PS-2) is discovered. It is the third gene with mutations found to cause inherited Alzheimer's disease.[30][46]
1993 Discovery Apolipoprotein E-e4 (APOE4) is discovered. It is the first gene variation found to increase risk of Alzheimer's disease and remains the risk gene with the greatest known impact.[30][47]
1993 Development The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves tacrine (Cognex) as the first drug specifically targeting Alzheimer's disease memory and thinking symptoms.[2] United States
1994 Alzheimer Disease International launches the first World Alzheimer's Day on September 21.[2]
1995 Development Researchers announce the first transgenic mouse model that developed Alzheimer-like brain pathology, by inserting one of the human APP genes linked to a rare, inherited form of Alzheimer's disease.[2][48]
1996 Development Donepezil is approved for use in all stages of Alzheimer's disease.[49] United States
1999 Development First report announcing that injection of transgenic "Alzheimer" mice with beta-amyloid prevents the animals from developing plaques and other Alzheimer's disease-like brain changes.[2]
2001 Development Galantamine is approved for use in mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer's disease.[49] United States
2002 Organization The Federación Mexicana de Alzheimer is founded. It holds its own scientific committee.[14][50][51] Monterrey, Mexico
2003 Development Memantine is approved for use in moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer's disease.[49] United States
2003 Study The National Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Study begins. Blood samples are collected from families with several members who developed Alzheimer's late in life to identify additional Alzheimer's risk genes.[11] United States
2006 Development Rivastigmine is approved for use in all stages of Alzheimer's disease.[49] United States
2008 Organization The International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment is founded.[2][52]
2009 Organization The International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease becomes an annual event.[2]
2010 Development A database is launched containing information of more than 4000 patients with Alzheimer's disease who participated in 11 pharmaceutical industry-sponsored clinical trials of Alzheimer's treatments.[11][53] United States
2012 Organization Multinational research consortium Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN), launches the first major clinical trial testing pharmacotherapy to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms in people who inherited an autosomal dominant mutation putting them at high risk for the disease.[2]
2013 Discovery International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) researchers identify 20 genetic variations associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.[2]
2013 Campaign The G8 Dementia Summit launches an international effort to fight Alzheimer’s disease and find a cure by 2025.[54] United Kingdom
2014 Discovery Researchers at Rush University come to the conclusion that rates of death caused by Alzheimer’s disease are found to be much higher than reported on death certificates. The study is performed on organs donated from 2,566 persons aged 65 years and older without dementia at baseline.[2][55] United States
2016 Report According to Alzheimer Disease International, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia at a worldwide level.[56]

See also

References

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