Scientists in Germany found a group of more than 400 nuns the
perfect sample group for an investigation into links between
education and senility, the lead researcher said.
The nuns from a sorority in Bavaria in southern Germany were
chosen so as to eliminate any outside influences that might falsify
the results, psychologist and epidemiologist Horst Bickel told the
Catholic press agency KNA.
The nuns were the perfect sample group, he explained, because
they were one homogenous group who had lived together for decades
in the same convent with similar conditions of daily life.
The results were telling. Out of 442 nuns studied, 104 showed signs of dementia.
What the study found
Ninety-two of those had a low level of education, showing a
correlation between education level when young and the development
of cognitive difficulties in later life.
The study also showed that nuns who had been entrusted with
positions of responsibility were less at risk of developing
Bickel thanked the nuns for their participation. As for Sister
Erharda Bauer, one of the leading nuns, she explained that the
sisters had wanted to "help science, and therefore man." – (Sapa, July 2009)
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