Our Daily Folate

What can nuns tell us about Alzheimer's? A lot, it turns out. This week's news is that folic acid may stave off dementia

When University of Kentucky epidemiologist David Snowdon makes an important discovery, he doesn't break the news at a scientific meeting or even in a peer-reviewed journal. First he tells the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a group of Roman Catholic nuns who have given their bodies--and, after death, their brains--to help Snowdon study the slow mental wasting known as Alzheimer's disease.

The nuns and their carefully preserved brains have proved to be an Alzheimer's research treasure. From it, Snowdon has already found that tiny strokes may be the switch that flips a mildly deteriorating brain into full-fledged dementia and, bizarrely, that...

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