Synopses & Reviews
In 1986 epidemiologist Dr. David Snowdon embarked on a revolutionary scientific study that would forever change the way we view aging and old age. Dubbed the "Nun Study" because it involves a unique population of 678 Catholic remains today at the forefront of some of the world's most significant research on aging. Why high linguistic ability in early life seems to protect against Alzheimer's
Aging With Grace
This remarkable book by one of the world's leading experts on Alzheimer's disease combines fascinating high-tech research on the brain with the heartfelt story of the aging nuns who are teaching scientists how we grow old- and how findings already helps scientists unlock the secrets to living a longer, healthier life
Yet Aging With Grace is more than a groundbreaking health and hard-science book. It is the story of an altar boy who grew up to be a scientist studying the effects of aging on nuns. It is the poignant and inspiring stories of the nuns themselves. Ranging in the age from 75 to 104, these remarkable women have allowed Dr. Snowdon access to t heir medical and personal records-and they agreed to donate their brains upon death.
In Aging With Grace, we accompany Dr. Snowdon on his loving visits to 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. Then there is 104-year-old Sister Matthia, who until her death in 1998 knitted two pairs of mittens a day and prayed every evening for each of the four thousand students she taught over the years. 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.
We also follow Dr. Snowdon into the lab as he and his colleague race to decode one of the most devastating disease known to humanity. We discover:
Which ordinary foods in the diet defend the brain against aging
Why preventing strokes and depression is key to avoiding dementia
Why it's never too late to start an exercise program
What role heredity plays, and how lifestyle can increase our chances for a mentally vital old age
How intangibles like community and faith help us age with grace
Both cutting-edge science and a personal prescription for hope. Aging With Grace shows how 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, and continuing freedom from disease.
About the Author
Dr. David Snowdon received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and began the Nun study there in 1986. In 1990 he moved the Nun study to the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky, where he also teaches in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and in the gerontology doctoral program. One of the world's leading experts on Alzheimer's disease, he has presented his findings at leading scientific conferences in North America and Europe, and has been presented his finding in such major medical journals as The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Journal of Gerontology.