The contribution of Gaetano Perusini to the definition of Alzheimer's disease

Ital J Neurol Sci. 1998 Feb;19(1):49-52. doi: 10.1007/BF03028813.


This paper seeks to examine Perusini's scientific contribution to Alzheimer's disease, on the basis of critical reading of the three fundamental papers he produced between 1906 and 1911, and published between 1909 and 1911. The examination of three publications clearly shows that, after Alzheimer's concise clinical report of 3 November 1906, Perusini was responsible for more clearly defining its clinical and histopathological characteristics without ever claiming be the discoverer of the new disease. The paper also describes Alzheimer's express wish to entrust the investigation of the disease to Perusini, and the brilliant manner in which this was achieved. The on-going debate on the difference between senile and pre-senile dementia, which was originally raised by Kraepelin's distinction of the two forms, is also discussed.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Neurology / history*

Personal name as subject

  • G Perusini