Dementia

15 January 2007

Delay dementia with language

Fluency in more than one language is associated with a significant delay in the onset of symptoms of dementia, according to a new study.

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Fluency in more than one language is associated with a significant delay in the onset of symptoms of dementia, according to a Canadian study in the February issue of the journal Neuropsychologia.

Researchers studied 184 people. Among those who spoke two or more languages, dementia began to appear at an average age of 76.1 in men and 75.1 in women, compared to 70.8 years in men and 71.9 years in women who spoke just one language, the Globe and Mail reported.

The mental agility required to be fluent in multiple languages may help delay the onset of dementia, suggested principal investigator Ellen Bialystok, an associate scientist at the Rotman Research Institute of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto.

"How you learn the language probably doesn't make much difference; how good your grammar is probably doesn't matter. What matters is that you have to manage two complete language systems at once," Bialystok told the Globe and Mail. – (HealthDayNews)

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January 2007

 

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