Beat Odds to Dementia by Being Bilingual

Did you know there are more then 24 million people affected by dementia today? Healthcare experts have projected the number will continue to rise in the future.

Insight into Dementia:

Dementia describes different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe. It is one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

A study has found being bilingual not only increases your cognitive abilities in your youth but can also make the brain more resilient in later life and even offer protection from dementia.

Real life Stars

Actress Natalie Portman is known to speak English, Hebrew, German and Japanese.

Researchers from York University believe speaking two languages could strengthen key brain pathways and enhance ‘mental flexibility.’ Previous studies have established that bilingualism has a beneficial effect on the learning development in children.

Studies also suggest that bilingualism stimulates the brain to maintain healthy aging. This can postpone the symptoms in those suffering from dementia.

Dr Bialystok said: ‘Our conclusion is that lifelong experience in managing attention to two languages reorganizes specific brain networks, creating a more effective basis for executive control and sustaining better cognitive performance throughout the lifespan.

‘It should not be surprising that intense and sustained experience leaves its mark on our minds and brains, and it is now clear that the bilingual brain has been uniquely shaped by experience.’

The study has been published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences




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