As we commemorate the first centennial since Alzheimer's disease (AD) was first diagnosed, this article casts back into the past while also looking to the future. It reflects on the life of Alois Alzheimer (1864–1915) and the scientific work he undertook in describing the disorder suffered by Auguste D. from age 51 to 56 and the neuropathological findings revealed by her brain, reminding us of the origin of the eponym. It highlights how, throughout the 1960's, the true importance of AD as the major cause of late life dementia ultimately came to light and narrates the evolution of the concepts related to AD throughout the years and its recognition as a major public health problem. Finally, the article pays homage to the work done by the Alzheimer's Association and the research undertaken at the Alzheimer's Disease Centres within the framework of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Program, briefly discussing the long road travelled in the fight against AD in the past 25 years and the scientific odyssey that we trust will result in finding a cure.
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