Speak Two Languages. Avoid Alzheimer's.

I took French in school and my son's now taking Spanish.  I remember only a little of it, and wish it was more, now that a new study has found that speaking two languages can ward off Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

According to newswise.com, "In the largest study on the topic to date, research shows that speaking a second language may delay the onset of three types of dementias."

At least for a while.

The study found that people who spoke two languages developed dementia four and a half years later than people who only spoke one language.

“Speaking more than one language is thought to lead to better development of the areas of the brain that handle executive functions and attention tasks, which may help protect from the onset of dementia," the Web site quotes study author Suvarna Alladi, DM, with Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India.

The study took place in India among people with an average age of 66 with dementia.

People who spoke two languages had a later onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and two other types of dementia than people who spoke only one language, newswise.com reports. The difference was also found in those who could not read. There was no additional benefit in speaking more than two languages.

“These results offer strong evidence for the protective effect of bilingualism against dementia in a population very different from those studied so far in terms of its ethnicity, culture and patterns of language use,” Alladi told newswise.com.

I'm going to make very sure that my son's "B" in Spanish rises to an "A" -- and stays there for life!


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