Martin Roth was distinguished for his major contributions to the understanding and classification of mental disorders in the elderly. These led to a new discipline, psychogeriatrics, as the problems of late life became recognized as constituting a major medical and social problem. His pioneering investigations led to the crucial demonstration of the differences between the dementias and the affective and other mental disorders of old age. The quantitative neuropathological and psychological studies undertaken by Roth and his colleagues established the pathology of Alzheimer disease as indicative of a disease separate from normal ageing and from other psychiatric disorders. These early studies led to collaborative molecular studies that pointed to a possibly causal pathological process.
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