Can Writing Predict Alzheimer’s?

NPR ran an interesting piece this week linking writing ability to Alzheimer’s disease.

An English professor analyzed the works of Agatha Christie to study the complexity of each work. As you might expect, the frequent use of large words and complex sentences started to go down as Christie aged. However, there was a drastic drop in these attributes when you compare Christie’s book “Elephants Can Remember” (which was one of her last, if not her last book) to her previous book. Although Agatha was never diagnosed with Alzheimer’s many believe she suffered from it in later life.

There was also a similar study done with a group of nuns who kept journals almost nearly their entire lives. After analyzing the journals it was determined with “92 percent accuracy whether the brain of a particular sister, investigated after their death, would contain the plaques and lesions in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Interesting stuff, right? What do you think about these studies?

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