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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Turning 100 With Your Brain Intact

The BBC published an article whose content we can all take to heart. Use your brain and the chances of losing it to Alzheimer's will be hugely diminished.

Oldest Nobel laureate turns 100

Rita Levi-Montalcini received France's Legion d'Honneur medal in 2008.

The Italian scientist and oldest living Nobel laureate, Rita Levi-Montalcini, is celebrating her 100th birthday.

Despite her age, she still works every day at the European Brain Research Institute which she founded in Rome.

She is described as the grand old lady of the Italian Senate, where she became a senator for life in 2001.

Born in Turin in 1909, Professor Levi-Montalcini was forced by the anti-Jewish laws of the late 1930s to quit university and do research in an improvised laboratory in her bedroom at home.

"It was a great privilege because it gave me the chance to use my capacities to the full, which I wouldn't have done had I not been forced to stay in my bedroom working like that," she told the BBC World Service.

"And if it wasn't for this, then today I'd be an old woman - which obviously I am - but I think that difficulties can be really helpful in life."

'Not afraid of dying'

Prof Levi-Montalcini, a neurologist and development biologist, shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986 with Stanley Cohen and is currently writing a book on brain function.

When it comes to my mental state I'm more present today than when I was an adolescent
Rita Levi-Montalcini, Italian Nobel Laureate.

She said she was not afraid of dying.

"I've never worried about this," she said.

"It's the body that dies, not the person. For the moment, my mind is still alive. When it comes to my mental state I'm more present today than when I was an adolescent." read entire article here

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