The Scholastica Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Good Council in Mankato, Minnesota, it may be a strange place to conduct an experiment in the neuroscience of the brain. But a study of its inhabitants whose ages range between 75 and 107 years tells us more about how to keep the brain alive and healthy than any other study conducted so far. The "Survey of Nuns" is a unique collaboration between 678 Catholic sisters who have been recruited in 1991 and an expert on Alzheimer's, David Snowdon in Lexington KY. (See our articles on the matter).
The miraculous longevity of the nuns - the group boasts of having seven centenarians and many other way to do so - may be partly attributable to life impeccable living. They do not smoke, do not drink, stay there in community life, are spiritual and eat briefly and with restraint. However, minor differences between the nuns themselves can provide information about the tracks to a healthier life in old age.
Some of the nuns have suffered from Alzheimer's disease, but have escaped suffering from any form of senility. Among them is Sister Matthias who remained alert and lively since he was born in 1894 until he died in his sleep at age 104. She lived happy and productive, knitting gloves for the poor until the day of his death.
An autopsy of her brain showed that there were no signs of aging beyond expectations. What is more surprising is that Snowdon for a number of nuns who showed no signs of senility in his life, autopsies, exhibited anatomical changes consistent with the presence of severe dementia. How Sister Matthias and other deceived the time? The methods of the study of Snowdon, involving a barrage of tests of mental agility and thorough medical examinations, have elucidated several common denominators.
The adequate intake of vitamin folate is one. The verbal ability early in life is another, as also are having emocionespositivas ahead in development. Activities like solving puzzles, crosswords, knitting and doing physical exercises contributed to the ailments of aging without the nuns. Above all, spirituality and positive attitudes that emanate from it. But differences also have individual.
To avoid dementia to remain in optimal physical and spiritual health are essential. Of course you do not have to join a convent for good health. But, obviously, to some, can help in that regard.
I would recommend something similar to many patients whose lives are limited to the relentless pursuit of pleasure. My enthusiasm is cooled, once, when I made the suggestion so jocoso known to a couple, who replied to laughter: "No, I would not join a convent, but at a monastery? you would without hesitation?" In short There is a myth, what we eat is largely responsible for our fate and the good quality of our lives. Learn more about it benefits us all.
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