In 1986 Dr. David Snowdon, one of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease, embarked on a revolutionary scientific study that would forever change the way we view aging—and ultimately living. Dubbed the “Nun Study” because it involves a unique population of 678 Catholic sisters, this remarkable long-term research project has made headlines worldwide with its provocative discoveries.
Yet Aging with Grace is more than a groundbreaking health and science book. It is the inspiring human story of these remarkable women—ranging in age from 74 to 106—whose dedication to serving others may help all of us live longer and healthier lives.
Totally accessible, with fascinating portraits of the nuns and the scientists who study them, Aging with Grace also offers a wealth of practical findings:
• Why building linguistic ability in childhood may protect against Alzheimer’s
• Which ordinary foods promote longevity and healthy brain function
• Why preventing strokes and depression is key to avoiding Alzheimer’s
• What role heredity plays, and why it’s never too late to start an exercise program
• How attitude, faith, and community can add years to our lives
A prescription for hope, Aging with Grace shows that old age doesn’t have to mean an inevitable slide into illness and disability; rather it can be a time of promise and productivity, intellectual and spiritual vigor—a time of true grace.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives|
|Release Date: 11-19-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House, Inc.|
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Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives
They will open up to you, but only if you give of yourself first.
--Sister Carmen Burg
On a spring morning in 1986, when the midwestern snowpack finally had begun to melt and the change of seasons encouraged new ideas to sprout, I sat nervously in the reception room of a convent in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a new idea of my own. I had come here to meet Sister Carmen Burg, who would either help my idea take root or wish me luck and send me on my way. I feared that she had bad news for me.
As an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, I was struggling mightily to find my niche. In the competitive world of scientific research, especially at a large institution, I knew I had little time to establish my value to the department. All too frequently I remembered my chairman's words: "It's nice to be independent, but you must be funded."
Sister Carmen was an elected leader of one of Minnesota's largest groups of Catholic nuns, the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Nearly two hundred sisters lived at the Good Counsel Hill convent in Mankato, ninety miles southwest of St. Paul. I had contacted Sister Carmen to propose a research project involving the nuns. Now I worried that she had offered to meet me here--before I ever got to Mankato--so that it would be less awkward to turn me down. Underscoring my anxiety were images that had been seared into my memory at Sacred Heart elementary school. Most of the sisters had been serious, take-no-prisoners disciplinarians.
I had learned what I knew about the School Sisters of Notre Dame from Nora Keenan, a graduate student in our department. Nora had an unusual background for an epidemiolo...