The Nun Study

The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer's disease funded by the National Institute on Aging. Participants are 678 American members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame religious congregation who are 75 to 106 years of age. 

The Nun Study began in 1986 as a pilot study on aging and disability using data collected from the older School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) living in Mankato, Minnesota. In 1990, the Nun Study was expanded to include older Notre Dames living in the midwestern, eastern, and southern regions of the United States. In 2008, the study returned to the University of Minnesota under the direction of Kelvin O. Lim, M.D. The goal of the Nun Study is to determine the causes and prevention of Alzheimer's disease, other brain diseases, and the mental and physical disability associated with old age.

In 2009, Minnesota Public Radio showcased the newly-reacquired Nun Study and visited the sisters in their Mankato community.

More recently, Dr. Laura Hemmy discussed the study with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN's vital+signs series.

Contact Us

The Nun Study
University of Minnesota
717 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

(612) 624-0199

Sister Nicolette

A participant in The Nun Study for more than 23 years, the late Sister Nicolette enjoyed her 101st birthday at the Mankato, Minnesota Provincial House in 2008.