Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Conscientious Nuns Less Likely to Get Alzheimer's Disease

First I got an email about this from Medscape. Then I saw it in the Wall Street Journal's
Health Blog. Then I clicked through to the abstract from the Archives of General Psychiatry.

So there's this prospective study of Catholic clergy--priest, nuns, and brother-- called The Religious Orders Study at Rush University, where the participants have yearly physical and psychological exams and agree to donate their brains for autopsy at the appropriate time. Wow. The Religious Orders Study has been going since 1993 and is funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Okay, so Jacob Goldstein at the WSJ blog tells us:
A high conscientiousness score — which the authors describe as reflecting a “tendency to control impulses and be goal directed” — was associated with an 89% reduction in the risk of disease compared with a low score, even after accounting for age, sex and education.

By 'sex' I think he means gender.

At any rate, this study made me think of my dear friend ClinkShrink, pictured above, who a) is often mistaken for a nun and b) is very conscientious.

I'm hoping this bodes well for her brain. If not, I'll still be her friend.


Alison Cummins said...

Gender has more layers than sex: it includes psychological and social dimensions.

Sex is determined by your external genitalia or by your chromosomes, depending on whether you are a midwife or a geneticist.

(But ok, I get the joke. I'm just being pedantic about it.)

ClinkShrink said...

Sex is also determined by your ability to get a date.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Nice pic.

Anonymous said...

So, what you're trying to say is that Clink enjoys flashing her hairy legs? Doesn't seem very conscientious to me!

Sarebear said...

I guess if you have a hard time getting a date, you'll be having nun of that . . . .

It's a groaner, alright. Wait, apparently, there's nun of that going on (just teasing you in the abstract, I wouldn't dare make that personal of a pun in the concrete; that stuff is hard to wash off . . . .)

Midwife with a Knife said...

You guys are so punny!

In terms of the sex vs gender thing, I always think of sex as a biological fact (or a good hobby) and gender as more of a social construct.

I also think that that religous orders study is a really cool idea! :)

NeoNurseChic said...

Hehe - I'd guess sex doesn't mean extracurricular activities amongst priests and nuns! ;)

How about this story about a convent in Italy being shut down due to the nuns having a cat fight? Anybody hear that one on the news yesterday? Even nuns can get into fights when in close quarters (and not allowed to speak even!)....!

Sarebear said...

THIS would be perfect for Clink's Brain.

Now I've got that Star Trek episode, Spock's Brain in my head (there was a really good brain blogging carnival post recently on Dr. Deb's blog, w/Spock at the top . . .)

DrivingMissMolly said...

HaHa. I'm just glad that she isn't lifting her habit a bit higher 'cause I have no desire to see her matching pink thong!