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Ann Intern Med. 2003 Sep 2;139(5 Pt 2):450-4.

Healthy aging and dementia: findings from the Nun Study.

Author information

1
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, 320 Health Sciences Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0200, USA. dsnowdon@nunstudy.mi8.com

Abstract

The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of 678 Catholic sisters 75 to 107 years of age who are members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame congregation. Data collected for this study include early and middle-life risk factors from the convent archives, annual cognitive and physical function evaluations during old age, and postmortem neuropathologic evaluations of the participants' brains. The case histories presented include a centenarian who was a model of healthy aging, a 92-year-old with dementia and clinically significant Alzheimer disease neuropathology and vascular lesions, a cognitively and physically intact centenarian with almost no neuropathology, and an 85-year-old with well-preserved cognitive and physical function despite a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer disease and an abundance of Alzheimer disease lesions. These case histories provide examples of how healthy aging and dementia relate to the degree of pathology present in the brain and the level of resistance to the clinical expression of the neuropathology.

PMID:
12965975
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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