Aging with Grace: The Nun Study and the science of old age. How we can all live longer, healthier and more vital lives.

David Snowdon

AGING WITH GRACE reveals the cutting-edge research that has transformed scientists’ understanding of healthy aging and shows what everyone can do to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease, David Snowdon is the director of the ‘Nun Study’, a long term research project involving 678 nuns. Ranging in the age from 75 to 106, these extraordinary women have allowed Snowdon access to their medical and personal records and they have agreed to donate their brains upon death. The Nun Study’s findings are already helping scientists unlock the secrets to living a longer, healthier life. With one of the largest brain donor studies in the world, Dr Snowdon and his colleagues are at the forefront of some of the most fascinating and useful research on aging today.

This remarkable book combines cutting-edge research on the brain with the poignant and inspiring stories of the aging nuns who are teaching scientists how we grow old. We meet 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, and ‘The Magnificent Seven’, centenarians from a single convent who remain active and healthy in advanced age. 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.

Snowdon takes us into the lab to see the race to decode this devastating disease and reveals what we can do to prevent it. Aging With Grace shows that old age does not have to mean an inevitable slide into illness and disability; rather, it can be a time of promise and productivity, intellectual vigour, and continuing freedom from disease.

Reviews of Aging with Grace: The Nun Study and the science of old age. How we can all live longer, healthier and more vital lives.

    • ‘Wonderfully warm and illuminating. A rare book for the way it combines cutting-edge science with an inside view of how that knowledge is being won. It is as much a story of the individual lives of the nuns as of their eventual neurological fate.’ John McCrone, Guardian
    • ‘I advise you to read Aging with Grace.’ Maggie Gee, Daily Telegraph
    • ‘Extraordinary insights…Snowdon not only describes the key findings, but also gives touching accounts of the lives and work of the nuns. In Aging with Grace, we glimpse a closed, peculiarly uniform world. The nuns have a lot to teach us about the lifestyle and attitudes needed to age successfully – with grace.’ New Scientist
    • ‘A unique study of nuns is helping scientists unlock the secrets of the ageing process.’ Daily Mail