Aging with Grace (Bantam Books, 2001) tells the story of Dr. David Snowdon and his relationship with the Nun Study participants.
The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer's disease funded by the National Institute on Aging and directed by Dr. David Snowdon, Professor of Neurology at the University of Kentucky's College of Medicine. Participants are 678 American members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame religious congregation who are 75 to 106 years of age.
Over 85 percent of these participants were teachers. Participants in the Nun Study include women representing a wide range of function and health, from sisters in their 90s who are highly functional with full-time jobs to sisters in their 70s who are severely disabled, unable to communicate, and bed-bound. The goal of the Nun Study is to determine the causes and prevention of Alzheimer's disease,http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif other brain diseases, and the mental and physical disability associated with old age.
Each of the Study’s participants have agreed to participate in annual assessments of their cognitive and physical function, medical exams, blood drawing for genetic and nutritional studies, and brain donation at death for neuropathologic studies. The Nun Study represents the largest brain donor population in the world. In addition, the sisters have given investigators full access to their convent and medical records.
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