Writing Blog

February 18, 2007

Speaking at Least Two Tongues Impedes Brain Degeneration

Filed under: English,Languages,Spanish — rafaelminuesa @ 11:34 PM
Tags: , , ,

Knowledge of more than one language has been linked by Canadian researchers to a significant delay in the onset of dementia symptoms by as much as four years, compared to monolingual people.
Fluency in two or more languages may be able to stave off cognitive decline because of the mental agility required to juggle them in day-to-day life, said principal investigator Ellen Bialystok, Professor of Psychology at York University and Associate Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Research Centre for Aging and the Brain.

Scientific researches have been examining for a long time how lifestyle items such as physical activity, education and social engagement may build the “cognitive reserve” and a long-lasting healthy brain in later years of life.

The cognitive reserve means enhanced neural plasticity, compensatory use of alternative brain regions, and enriched brain vasculature, which fight against the onset of dementia symptoms (brain degeneration).

Now, the team at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Research Centre for Aging and the Brain, adds bilingualism to these factors. “We are pretty dazzled by the results,” said Bialystok: “Our study found that speaking two languages throughout one’s life appears to be associated with a delay in the onset of symptoms of dementia by four years compared to those who speak one language.”

The same team had shown that bilingualism enhances attention and cognitive control in both children and older adults. Now, they examined the diagnostic records of 184 patients of Baycrest’s Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic between 2002 and 2005, which presented cognitive complaints.

The study group compassed 91 monolingual persons and 93 bilingual ones, the other language spoken besides English being Polish, Yiddish, German, Romanian and Hungarian.
132 patients met criteria for probable Alzheimer‘s (the most common form of dementia, which is highly genetic); the other 52 presented other dementias.

The researchers used data of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (a measure of general cognitive functioning), years of education and occupation. The MMSE scores were the same for the monolingual and bilingual groups at their initial visit to the clinic, pointing comparable levels of impairment.

The team determined that the onset of dementia symptoms in the monolingual group occurred at the mean age of 71.4, while the bilingual group was 75.5 years.
The difference remained even after considering the possible effect of cultural differences, immigration, formal education, employment and even gender as influences in the results.

“There are no pharmacological interventions that are this dramatic,” says Dr. Freedman, who is Head of the Division of Neurology, and Director of the Memory Clinic at Baycrest.


“El hombre es tantas veces hombre
cuanto es el número de lenguas que ha aprendido”
Carlos I de España


More Info:

Original Thread and Discussion:
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.spanish/

Speaking two tongues helps lick dementia, study finds
… Globe and Mail to see how knowledge of more than one language has been linked by Canadian …

Chow, Tiffany Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… UCLA Dept of Psych; Tiffany Chow MD
2002-2002 Language Processing in Semantic Dementia and …


Hasher, Lynn Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… Michigan, 1997;
Lessons from Cognition: Foreign Language Instruction Asian Language Instructors; Duke University, 1997;
Cognitive Issues and Aging Research Duke University … University; Raleigh, NC, 1989;
Attention, Memory, and Language Comprehension: The Role of …


What is MEG? :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… complex information processing such as melody and language can also be explored. Furthermore, we …

Stuss, Donald T. Dr. (Chair) :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… fractionation and localization of attentional and language processing in the …

Tulving, Endel Dr. (Chair) :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… animals lies in the fact that animals do not have language. When, in a behavioral test, animals … of autonoetic episodic memory for animals without language (chapter in a 2005 book edited by …

Mayberg, Helen Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… 1993-1993 Chair, UTHSCSA IRB committee-Consent form Language on Radiation Exposure Risk …

Pantev, Christo Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… structures in the central auditory system with respect to language and music Publications …

Ween, Jon Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… established for the first time a clear link between language impairments and verbal long term … processing in a manner that dissociated from other language function such as phonological ability. …

Jokel, Regina :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… Applied Research Unit
University of Toronto Research FocusMy research focuses on (1) language interventions for adults with progressive … Poland
1991 Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology, University of …


Wodniecka, Zofia Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… Bilingualism: cognitive consequences of bilingualism language processing in bilinguals …

Park, Lillian Dr. :: Baycrest Research Division – Enriching Care, Enhancing Knowledge, Enlightening Minds
… judgment-makingInvestigating the relationship of language and memory processes in bilingual …

About these ads

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: