Bilingualism May Stave Off Dementia, Study Suggests
Speaking two languages provides the enviable ability to make friends in unusual places. A new study suggests that bilingualism may also come with another benefit: improved memory in later life.
Studying hundreds of older patients, researchers in Germany found that those who reported using two languages daily from a young age scored higher on tests of learning, memory, language and self-control than patients who spoke only one language.
The findings, published in the April issue of the journal Neurobiology of Aging, add to two decades of work suggesting that bilingualism protects against dementia and cognitive decline in older people.
“It’s promising that they report that early and middle-life bilingualism has a beneficial effect on cognitive health in later life,” said Miguel Arce Rentería, a neuropsychologist at Columbia University who was not involved in the study. “This would line up with the existing literature.” [read more]
Source: The New York Times