Aging with Grace: The Nun Study and the Science of Old Age. How We Can All Live Longer, Healthier and More Vital Lives.

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9781841152929: Aging with Grace: The Nun Study and the Science of Old Age. How We Can All Live Longer, Healthier and More Vital Lives.

AGING WITH GRACE reveals the cutting-edge research that has transformed scientists' understanding of healthy aging and shows what everyone can do to help prevent Alzheimer's disease.One of the world's leading experts on Alzheimer's disease, David Snowdon is the director of the 'Nun Study', a long term research project involving 678 nuns. Ranging in the age from 75 to 106, these extraordinary women have allowed Snowdon access to their medical and personal records and they have agreed to donate their brains upon death. The Nun Study's findings are already helping scientists unlock the secrets to living a longer, healthier life. With one of the largest brain donor studies in the world, Dr Snowdon and his colleagues are at the forefront of some of the most fascinating and useful research on aging today.This remarkable book combines cutting-edge research on the brain with the poignant and inspiring stories of the aging nuns who are teaching scientists how we grow old. We meet nuns like Sister Clarissa, who at the age of 90 drives around the convent in a motorized cart she calls her 'Chevy' and knows as much about baseball as any die-hard fan a third her age, and 'The Magnificent Seven', centenarians from a single convent who remain active and healthy in advanced age. These bright, articulate and altruistic women have much to teach us about how faith, wisdom and spirituality can influence the length and quality of our lives.Snowdon takes us into the lab to see the race to decode this devastating disease and reveals what we can do to prevent it. Aging With Grace shows that old age does not have to mean an inevitable slide into illness and disability; rather, it can be a time of promise and productivity, intellectual vigour, and continuing freedom from disease.

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From the Back Cover:

"What distinguishes this study is Snowdon's decision not to maintain the usual "objective" distance from his subjects but rather to become emotionally involved with them. His commitment to treat them with 'care and respect' is readily apparent in the many warm and sympathetic anecdotes and his expression of deeply felt grief when any of the sisters becomes incapacitated by Alzheimer's or dies. ... [R]eaders will certainly appreciate the early insights to be gleaned from Snowdon's human- (rather than statistic-) centered and compassionate story."
Publishers Weekly

"The Nun Study represents an absolutely unique American treasure and resource for all of us. The gems that Dr. Snowdon and his colleagues have unearthed will not only change the way you look at yourself and the aging people around you, they'll serve as catalysts for aging research for many years to come."
— Ronald Petersen, Ph.D., M.D., Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic

"There are lessons for all of us in this moving account of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and their commitment to help us find the causes of Alzheimer's disease. I came away with a new respect for the power of faith as well as the beauty and complexity of the human brain."
— Virginia M. Bell, M.S.W., co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care

"David Snowdon leads us through the enthralling scientific, but also very personal journey that he has been taking with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The revelations along the way show us there is so much we can all do to alter for the better how we age, and ultimately how long we live. It is a journey not to be missed!"
— Thomas Perls M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

"A beautiful story. Families will find hope and support through the commitment of the sisters who have dedicated their lives to helping others enjoy the gift of life as long as possible."
— Sigmund Tomkalski, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter, Alzheimer's Association

From the Inside Flap:

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.

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