The woman behind Alzheimer’s disease

By Kirsten Nichols

IRON MOUNTAIN — Auguste Deter was born in 1850 and was the first person who was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She started showing signs of dementia when she was in her early 50s with symptoms such as loss of memory, problems with language and writing, and trouble sleeping.

In 1901 she was brought to the institution for the Mentally Ill and Epileptics in Frankfurt, Germany when her husband could no longer take care of her.

Dr. Aloysius Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, became fascinated with Auguste’s condition. Much like others with dementia, Auguste confused common people, foods, and objects while also identifying some objects correctly. For example, she wasn’t able to tell her first name from her last, but could identify objects such as a diary and purse.

She also confused foods such as thinking her pork and cauliflower were spinach and the meat she would be chewing was instead potatoes and horseradish. In the evening, her speech became garbled and she would often wake up screaming in the middle of the night.

Dr. Alzheimer concluded that she had lost her sense of time and place and could barely remember details of her life and gave answers that were irrelevant to asked questions. Her moods changed rapidly between mistrust, anxiety, whininess, and withdrawal. She wasn’t allowed to wander the wards because she would accost other patients who would then assault her.

Dr. Alzheimer left the institution in 1902 to take a position in Munich, although he made frequent calls to Frankfurt inquiring about Deter’s condition.

Within five years of living in the institution, Auguste lost almost all of her cognitive ability and died shortly after she turned 55. She died as a result of sepsis that derived from an infected bedsore.

After Auguste died in 1906, Dr. Alzheimer examined her medical records and brain and found abnormalities and extensive atrophy in the cortex, which is responsible for language, memory, judgment, and thought. On examining her brain, he found senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, that would be the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease as we know it today.

Before Auguste, these abnormalities were only seen in patients in their 70s. Auguste’s condition sparked the beginning of the world’s understanding of memory loss.

More than a century later, he case was re-examined with modern medical technologies, where a genetic cause was found for her disease and the results were published in the journal The Lancet Neurology. According to the paper, a mutation in the PSEN1 gene was found, which alters the function of gamma secretase, and is known for causing early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.





Sunday: Scenes and sounds, noon; Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Pretty nails, 10 a.m.; library cart, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; brouhaha,1 p.m.; pet visits, 2 p.m.; ice cream, 3 p.m.; bingo, 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts and gardening, 10 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Kentucky derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10:30 a.m.; rosary, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; movie, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; bible study, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; back yard games, 1 p.m.; bingo with Carol, 2 p.m.

Friday: Coffee social, 10:30 a.m.; what’s cooking, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; Mass, 2 p.m.; luau singalong and happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; blitz box, 11 a.m.; scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m.; newspaper, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Sunday: One to one church visitors, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.; room visits, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; senior basketball, 10 a.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Memory books, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; sunshine club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book club, 10 a.m.; prayer, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 2 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social and animal king, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; Apostolic service, 1:15 p.m.; getting pretty, 1:15 p.m.; men’s club, 2 p.m.; nite bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; United Lutheran, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Ottawa picnic, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; garden club and reminisce, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Price is right and hangman, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.



Wet Your Whistle, 9:30 a.m. (daily).

Movie, 10:45 a.m. (daily) and again at 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gathering place, 11:40 a.m. (daily), and at 4:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday).

Protestant Church service, Sunday, 3 p.m.

Exercises, 10 a.m. (daily).

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Who, what, when, 10:15 a.m.; wheel of fortune, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Colorful questions, 10:15 a.m.; Resident Council and Food committee, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Table talk, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party with Jim Edberg entertaining, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; deal or no deal bingo, 2 p.m.; patio visits, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: ManorCare monthly, 10:15 a.m.; Catholic mass, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Sunday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; parachute, 1:30 p.m.; courtyard yahtzee, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian Fellowship

Monday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Protestant Church, 9 a.m.; help your neighbor, 10:15 a.m.; parachute, 1:30 p.m.; Scattegories, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: rosary, 8:30 a.m.; bingo, 10:15 a.m.; parachute, 1:30 p.m.; creative art, 2 p.m.; Whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Protestant Church, 9 a.m.; derby day, 10:15 a.m.; parachute, 1:30 p.m.; monthly birthday party with Ray and Mindy entertaining, 2 p.m.; bible stories, 3 p.m.; bon fire, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Catholic mass, 9 a.m.; scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; parachute, 1:30 p.m.; prayer shawl, 2 p.m.; Pictionary, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; family picnic, 11 am. to 1 p.m.; movie, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Joker-eno, 10:15 a.m.; parachute, 1:30 p.m.; pamper and polish coffee social, 2 p.m.

Monthly support group for grief and loss, second Monday of the month at 2 p.m.

Weekend pet visits.

Victorian Heights

Crystal Falls

Sunday: “Sweet treat” Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.; getting pretty, 1:30 p.m.; social hour with snacks, 3 p.m.; Church of Christ service, 3 p.m.; Lawrence Welk show on PBS, 4 p.m.

Monday: Smear card game, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; dinner outing to Bartoletti’s, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Catholic mass service, 10 a.m.; catch phrase, 10:45 a.m.; scrabble game, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Card and stamp store, 10:45 a.m.; exercise, 11:15 a.m.; Carol Burnett video, 1:45 p.m.; Jubilee shopping trip, 2 p.m.; night bingo at Medicare, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Therapeutic adult coloring, 10:30 a.m.; United Lutheran Church service, 2 p.m.; cribbage,1:30 p.m.

Friday: Exercise, 11:15 a.m.; happy hour, 4 p.m.

Saturday: Social hour, 2 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Exercise, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m.

Juice pass, daily at 10 a.m.

Shopping days: Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Resident birthday party, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Music with Verna, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Wheel of fortune, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; horse races, 2 p.m.; Pastor Miller Church service, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Bible study with Dorothy and Wayne, 10 a.m.; bingo with Bette, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Jackpot, 10 a.m.; travel to Little Bavaria with Valri, 2 p.m.; Fitnessize, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Farkle dice, 10 a.m.; jeopardy, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3:30 p.m.; music by Jason, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason Church service, 10 a.m.; food fun and fitness kids, 1 p.m.; tic tac toe, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic communion service, 10 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3:30 p.m.; movie night 7 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; mingle and munch, 2 p.m.; Trivia, 3:30 p.m.



Sunday: Grace church, 10 a.m.; outside social, 10 a.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.

Monday: Life connections, 9:45 a.m.; sensory, 10:15 a.m.; busy bee, 12:30 p.m.; outside social, 1:30 p.m.; Rosary, 2:30 p.m.; one to one visits, 3:30 p.m.; king’s corners, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Resident Council, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:30 p.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.; pictionary, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: DeYoung Zoo, 10 a.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10 a.m.; aromatherapy, 11:15 a.m.; busy bee, 12:30 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; mind joggers, 6 p.m.

Friday: Mass, 10 a.m.; sensory, 10:15 a.m.; busy bee, 12:30 p.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Karaoke, 10 a.m.; tic tac toe, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; crafts, 2 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24 hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at noon.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center


Meals: Monday through Friday.

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m.

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledge every day.

Evening meals are held first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m. with dinner served at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Blood pressure and blood sugar testing, every fourth Wednesday.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook, Tracy West


Meals will be served on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. (a salad bar will be open at 4:30 p.m.). The dinner donation is $5 for those age 60 and over and $6 for those under age 60. There is a take-out container charge of $1. All persons are invited. Cribbage will be played on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and be concluded in time for the dinner. Center is closed Thursday through Sunday. A site council meeting is held on the third Wednesday at 3 p.m. Blood pressure taken by request anytime the center is open.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on the weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; Majong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, noon; Crafters, scrap bookers, etc. also welcome; Knitting and crocheting class, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Camera Club, 6 p.m.

Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday of the month: Music Jam starting at 1 p.m.

Evening meals have a salad bar beginning at 4 p.m. with the meal beginning at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $4 is accepted for seniors (60 plus), but not required. Those 59 and younger are required to pay $5.  

Transportation is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call the center to book your ride.

Felch Center

Director: Norma Dixon


Meals served Monday through Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Bingo on the first and third Wednesday of each month after lunch.

Congregate jigsaw puzzle done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County


Director: Lori Friberg

Three senior dining locations are listed below:

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon on Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations are requested.

Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage, and board games are available. The coffee is always on.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Reservations are requested. Jigsaw puzzles, cribbage, cards, and board games are available. The coffee is always on.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is Monday through Friday at noon. Suggested donation is $3 for those 60 and older and $7 for those under 60.

Morning coffee is available each day

Fifteen games of “Fun Bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday along with 50/50.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill is also available.

Monday: Craft day- come and bring your own craft projects. It’s always nice to share ideas with people, relax, and have a cup of coffee.

Tuesday: Foot Clinic- We have a nurse coming in to check your feet and clip your nails. She arrives at approximately 9:30 a.m. Bring your own towel. Cost is $12. Please call the center to register.

July 25: Birthday Dinner- Noon. Menu will be BBQ chicken, dilly potatoes, baked beans, and strawberry fluff. Call a day ahead to reserve your meal. We will also play bingo after the meal.

Iron River Center

Directors: Katherine Bortolameolli and Brian Kassa


Meals served Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; $4 (over 60) and $5 (under 60).

Evening meal is on Thursdays with a salad bar at 4 p.m. and dinner at 5 p.m.

Bingo is on Sundays at 2 p.m. (doors open at noon) and Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m.

Cards are played on Thursdays, 1:15 p.m.

Transportation is available Monday through Thursday with the bus running 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. $4 (over 60), $5 (under 60), $6 (wheelchair).

Bingo every Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Doors open at noon.

Salad bar with Thursday meal, 4 p.m. and dinner at 4:30 p.m.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site manager: Corrie Maule, 715-251-1603

Center director: Jill Anderson, 715-251-4154 

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday.

Transportation to the meal site from the Niagara area is offered.

Wii games, cards, puzzles, and board games available to play for your enjoyment.

Senior groups who would like to use our meal site as their meeting place may join us for lunch and stay to have their meeting or social time.

Wednesday: Salad bar

Wednesday: 50’s and 60’s reunion

July 25 (Tuesday): Bingo

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon with salad bar. Soup is also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Please sign up early for meals. (Meal donation is $5.)

Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea, and coffee served daily.

Two special theme noon meals each month with bingo, prizes, and 50/50.

Two evening meals (5 p.m.) on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month with bingo, prizes, and 50/50.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays

Puzzles always worked on.

Wednesday: Blood pressure clinic, 11 a.m. to noon.

Wednesday: Noon meal: chicken strips, potato wedges, green beans, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Wednesday: 5 p.m. Dinner: BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, soup, salad bar, and dessert. Bingo, prizes, and 50/50. Please sign up early.

Thursday: Birthday Club: lasagna, broccoli, bread sticks, fruit, juice, soup, salad bar, and birthday cake. Have a birthday in July? Celebrate with us and get your picture on the Birthday Club Board.

July 25: Dog Day summer dinner: meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots with onions, soup, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert. Bingo, prizes, and 50/50. Please sign up early.

Note: A CSFP food card (green card) is available to income-eligible seniors. Make an appointment to get signed up. File of Life packets available at the center.

Note: Ask about the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps people pay their Medicare part B premium. You may be eligible. Your local MMAP Counselor can be reached at , or dial 211.

Center membership cards are available for $5 at the front desk.

Sagola Center

Director: Alyssa Runsat


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Cards: Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.

Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months.