Bilingual Ability Delayed Dementia Onset by Up to 6 Years
If your bilingual abilities stretch no further than being able to pronounce your restaurant order this Cinco de Mayo, you may want to consider the possible cognitive benefits of brushing up on foreign language skills. That's the encouraging implication of a Canadian study recently published in Neurology, which found that being bilingual appeared to delay the onset of Alzheimer's by 5-6 years.
Researchers reviewed data from 211 Alzheimer's patients, including their professional history, education, language skills as well as when symptoms of dementia began to appear. They found that the bilingual patients were diagnosed 4.3 years later and reported onset of symptoms 5.1 years later than monolingual patients.