Our A To Z Guide To Advances In Medicine

From Alzheimer's and artificial hearts to stem cells, smallpox and the Zone diet, 2001 was a busy year in medicine for doctors and patients alike. A guide to the key developments



A nunnery might seem an odd place to conduct medical research, but some of the most intriguing advances in Alzheimer's last year came from studying a group of nuns who agreed six years ago to give their brains to science. A long-term study of 678 School Sisters of Notre Dame showed--surprisingly--that something as simple and non-medical as a handwritten missive, penned in youth, may be able to predict a person's chances of getting Alzheimer's later in life. That link is still quite controversial; less so are some of the study's other findings, such as the protection the brain apparently...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!