Brain and Alzehemeir's

Gonzalez, Francisco GONZALEZ at BLUE.USA.COM
Fri Feb 23 08:00:07 MST 1996

	I just want to add a few comments about the study that concluded that
brain"exercise" delays the onset of Alzeheimer's. Some of the nuns that
participated in the study live at the Good Counsel retirement center here
in Mankato, Minnesota. Most of the nuns are in their late 90's and quite
a few are over 100 years old. I had had the opportunity to meet and work
with several of them, and (as the study seems to indicate), they do have
clear and unimpaired mental abilities despite their advanced age.

	According to some of the nuns themselves, they credit their good mental
(and also physical) health to keeping "busy" doing CREATIVE things. Most
of the really old nuns were teachers at parochial schools and, when they
retired, they remained active doing crafts, helping with the
administration of the center itself or assisting the local
parish/parochial school with administrative matters. I guess the bottom
line is that long-term brain health depends more on the amount of
"mental" exercise than on the intellectual depth or difficulty of the
mental process itself. To use an example from bodybuilding (muscular
exercise), it is not how MUCH weight you can lift, but how MANY
repetitions you can do, that ultimately helps to build body muscle!

Francisco J. Gonzalez

gonzalez at

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