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Dr. Alzheimer and the patient who helped reveal a devastating disease

It is fitting that a disease of forgetting is named for a person who is all but forgotten.

Wednesday marks the 153rd birthday of Alois Alzheimer, the German psychiatrist who is often credited for first describing the clinical and micro-anatomic features of a brain disease that steals the memories of millions of people each year.

There are, of course, many causes of dementia, a term derived from the Latin word, ‘demens,’ which means “without mind.” (The prefix ‘de’ connotes “off” or “not” and the noun ‘mens’ refers to the mind).

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(Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)

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