Alois Alzheimer and the myth of the pioneer

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Yves Christen1

From a historical point of view, what can be referred to as the myth of the pioneer finds expression in a two-way contradictory process. On the one hand, there is a tendency, from a hagiographical viewpoint, to give the creator full credit for the discovery. Meanwhile, others, taking an anti-establishment standpoint, endeavour to demonstrate how small the creator's contribution was, since it is in fact always possible to find forerunners of the greatest of pioneers. Alois Alzheimer is no exception. What, therefore, is his actual contribution?

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