Skip to main content
Log in

Histopathology and APOE genotype of the first Alzheimer disease patient, Auguste D.

  • Original article
  • Published:
Neurogenetics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Alois Alzheimer published two papers on the disease which was named after him by Emil Kraepelin in 1910. Each of these papers contains clinical and pathological data on a patient Alzheimer had seen at the hospital. We have previously reported on the rediscovery of tissue sections from Alzheimer's second published case of Alzheimer disease, Johann F., which probably gave the disease its name (Neurogenetics 1997; 1 : 73–80). Here, we describe the histopathology and APOE genotype of Alois Alzheimer's first patient, Auguste D. As in the case of Johann F., a large number of tissue sections belonging to Alzheimer's laboratory, which was later headed by Spielmeyer, were found among material kept at the Institute of Neuropathology of the University of Munich. As described by Alzheimer in his original report (Allg Zeitschr Psychiatr 1907; 64 : 146–148), there were numerous neurofibrillary tangles and many amyloid plaques, especially in the upper cortical layers of this patient. Yet, there was no microscopic evidence for vascular, i.e., arteriosclerotic, lesions. Interestingly, Alzheimer's histological preparations did not include the hippocampus or entorhinal region. The APOE genotype of this patient was shown to be ε3/ε3 by PCR-based restriction enzyme analysis, indicating that mutational screening of the tissue is feasible. The historical importance of the case of Auguste D. lies in the fact that it marks the beginning of research into Alzheimer disease. In addition, neurofibrillary tangles were first described in this brain.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Received: 29 December 1997 / Accepted: 15 January 1998

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Graeber, M., Kösel, S., Grasbon-Frodl, E. et al. Histopathology and APOE genotype of the first Alzheimer disease patient, Auguste D.. Neurogenetics 1, 223–228 (1998).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: