The last novel written by author Iris Murdoch before she died reveals signs of the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the latest online issue of Brain.
As part of their on-going research into the effects of Alzheimers disease on language, scientists at University College London and Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit decided to compare three of Dame Iris Murdoch’s works, including her final novel written just before she was diagnosed with the disease.
The team found that, while the structure and grammar of Murdoch’s writing remained roughly consistent throughout her career, her vocabulary had dwindled and her language simplified in her very last novel. This unique opportunity to study someone’s writing style over their lifetime could help researchers improve current diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s.
Jenny Gimpel | alfa
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