Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Nun Study at the University of Minnesota

The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer's disease. It began in 1986 as a pilot study on aging and disability using data collected from the older School Sisters of Notre Dame living in Mankato, Minn. The goal of the Nun Study is to determine the causes and prevention of Alzheimer's disease, other brain diseases, and the mental and physical disability associated with old age.

The 678 participants in the Nun Study were 75 to 102 years old when the study began, and the average age of the participants was 83 years.

Nuns were chosen for the study because of their homogeneous lifestyle and environments. Participants in this study are non-smokers, drink little if any alcohol, have the same marital status and reproductive history, have lived in similar housing, held similar jobs, and had similar access to preventive and medical care.

For more information on The Nun Study, visit the University of Minnesota website.

By Marie Nelson

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