US nuns offer themselves as guinea pigs for Alzheimer's research
Elderly Benedictine nuns in the United States are continuing their involvement in a program to test drugs designed to arrest Alzheimer's disease.
The first eight years of the research have suggested that the degenerative effects of Alzheimer's are not inevitable.
Dr David Bennett of the Chicago Institute for Alzheimer's Disease said the particular value of using the nuns was that they live a stable lifestyle that makes it easier to trace the evolution of the disease.
Furthermore, according to the first results, the 'quiet life' of the nuns tended to delay the onset of Alzheimer's.
The initial study involved 900 nuns, predominantly in the 67 and over age bracket.
"It is a service to humanity," explained one of the nuns, who was interviewed during by CNN.