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

ALZHEIMER'S

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

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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