Alzheimers Onset Less in Bilingual

April 9, 2011
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Bilingual individuals who have been able to speak more than one language for several years are able to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms four or five years longer than those who speak just one language, Canadian researchers have found.

Bilingual individuals who have been able to speak more than one language for several years are able to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms four or five years longer than those who speak just one language, Canadian researchers have found.

Scientists studied 450 Alzheimer’s patients. Half of the participants had been able to speak two languages for most of their lives, while the other half were strictly monolingual. The investigators found that the bilingual group reported symptoms and were diagnosed four or five years later than the monolingual participants.
Although more studies are needed researchers concluded that exercising the brain, whether it be through crossword puzzles or learning new languages, helps to keep the brain nimble.

And normally I would agree with that because it makes sense with everything I have read over time. Yet creeping into the literature are studies that suggest brain stimulation does not delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Whether or not any of this works remains to be seen. It would seem to me that stimulating your brain, whatever the means, can only be a good thing.

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