Ageing with grace: inspiration from the Nun study

While preparing my talk for the Springschool Healthy Ageing, which I also chair, I found this movie on Youtube. It is an older movie already (from 2006), but it perfectly shows why I felt so inspired after reading ‘Ageing with grace’ from David Snowdon, the PI of the Nun Study. Isn’t it amazing that, at that time, half of the nun’s brains investigated post-mortem showed clear signs of Alzheimer’s disease without them showing any clinical signs of the disease while they were alive? Although in the Nun Study itself they already pointed out that these nuns remained active all their lives, were highly educated and mostly taught until well in their seventies or eighties, it still isn’t clear how the brain deals with the physiological deterioration to maintain cognitive functioning. Since 2009, Monicque Lorist and I have been studying this question with two PhD students.