What Nuns Are Teaching Us About Alzheimer’s

David Snowden started a study on nuns with alzheimer’s disease back in 1970. He studied about 650 nuns between the ages of 75-103 some with the disease and some without. He wanted to know why some elderly peoples brains start to deteriorate and some don’t. Before taking their vows the nuns wrote an autobiographical statement that gave researchers insight to their linguistic ability. He evaluated these and learned that the sisters who demonstrated a low level of linguistic ability in their autobiographical statements had lower cognitive test scores later in their lives. This means the signs of deterioration can be seen as early as 50-60 years before onset. While it still does not show why the deterioration happens to some and not others. It does give us some insight on knowing a lot sooner if you may have it later in life and can possibly be treated sooner.

Key Points:

  • 1There was a large group of nuns that were used to study the brain from 30 years ago.
  • 2Because of the language and linguistic skills of nuns, they thought studying them would be useful.
  • 3Studying them gives a lot of insight into the brain and the aging process.


Before taking their vows, the nuns each wrote an autobiographical statement, which gave researchers insight into their linguistic ability. Past research has indicated both oral and written linguistic ability is an indicator of cognitive ability and a high level of linguistic ability earlier in life may protect against cognitive decline in old age.

Read the full article at: https://www.alzheimers.net/1-09-17-what-nuns-are-teaching-us-about-alzheimers/

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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