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Speaking 2 Languages Slows Onset Of Dementia, Even If You Became Bilingual In Adulthood.

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posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 07:12 AM
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I am trilingual and I wonder if being able to speak so many languages will help delay dementia in old age (fingers crossed I get there! lol).

Years ago it was believed that bilingualism was confusing children, as they thought that people who could speak two or more languages had difficulty using either. I believe speaking more than one language helps keep the brain sharp.



Anyone who’s ever tried learning a new language can attest to the difficulty of memorizing everything. Past tense, future tense, subjunctive, and conjugations — the list can go on and on. But all the extra brainpower it takes to learn this new language may end up benefiting you in the long run. According to a new study, published in the Annals of Neurology, finds that people who know two languages are able to hamper cognitive decline as they age.

“Our study is the first to examine whether learning a second language impacts cognitive performance later in life, while controlling for childhood intelligence,” said lead author Dr. Thomas Bak, of the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, in a press release. Childhood intelligence is important because previous studies, which found links between the delayed onset of dementia and being bilingual, were unable to distinguish whether learning a second language improved cognitive function or people who already had above-average brain function were more inclined to learn a second language.

A study from last November had similar results to Bak’s study, showing that being bilingual, even without being able to read, reduced a person’s chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists speculated that the delay was due to a so-called cognitive reserve; in which areas of the brain associated with executive function and attention were better developed thanks to knowing a second language. Another study found that singing songs from musicals, such as those from The Sound of Music, also brought back some function in patients who already had dementia. When it comes down to it, any form of mental stimulation may be better than none, especially in old age.

For Bak’s study, the team of researchers looked at data from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, which consisted of 835 native English speakers born in 1936. At 11 years old, they all underwent an intelligence test, and were then retested when they were in their early 70s. At that point, 262 participants reported being able to speak at least one other language — 195 of them learned before they turned 18.

People who were able to speak more than one language scored significantly better in cognitive tasks compared to those who only spoke one language, with the biggest advantage seen in general intelligence and reading. “The Lothian Birth Cohort offers a unique opportunity to study the interaction between bilingualism and cognitive aging, taking into account the cognitive abilities predating the acquisition of a second language,” Bak said in the release. “These findings are of considerable practical relevance. Millions of people around the world acquire their second language later in life. Our study shows that bilingualism, even when acquired in adulthood, may benefit the aging brain.”

www.medicaldaily.com...




posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:03 AM
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If you speak 2 languages, you are bilingual. If you speak more than 2 languages , I think the right term is polyglot.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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originally posted by: Trueman
If you speak 2 languages, you are bilingual. If you speak more than 2 languages , I think the right term is polyglot.


Yeah, you can say that, but trilingual is also correct (www.thefreedictionary.com...).



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: Agartha

I believe that speaking two languages allows the brain to think in two different ways. When one way becomes corrupted by old age, then yeah, I imagine the other way would come in as a backup.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:26 AM
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I wonder if any studies have been done on people that play music.

And also computer programming.

My uncle unfortunately has alzhiemers and he spoke 2 languages.

my father did not have alzheimers or dimentia and he spoke a smattering of 7 languages.

I don't know if that made a difference.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:36 AM
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a reply to: swanne

I don't know, all I see is that I can switch between languages easily and the bonus is that I can speak to a great variety of people......I'm actually not sure I can think in two different ways...... ~scratches head~




posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: grey580

Maybe your uncle's Alzheimers was caused by a vascular condition?



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: swanne

Sounds scientific...got any proof on that?



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: Agartha
a reply to: Euphem

Well all language are backed by unique thought processes. When you learn a language, you also have to learn its logic, its "flow". In french, the phrase "la vue d'Anne s'obscurcit de voiles noirs", directly translates to "the vision of Anne itself darkened with veils black", but gain back its true sense only when you use a new grammatical logic: "Anne's vision got dark with black veils". The verb "got" (the concept of "gaining" darkness) wasn't there in the original french text - it an idea (thought concept) introduced by english language logic.


edit on 2-6-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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"got dark" and darkened , has the same meaning in this use. paraphrasing can introduce the same unintended meaning ; is translation a kind of paraphrasing ?

same people get antsy about using more then their native tongue , as its sounds foreign to themselves ; they associate the tool of language with the usage of expression.

mabe there are even extremist that to them ;
blinging bawling Bilingualism , baling belligerent borable brabble , bellow a burgling belly brangle below bearable believe.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 10:16 AM
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Just out of curiosity, is speaking more than one language common amongst americans?



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: dude1

In French, "obscurcir" (darken) does not incorporate the notion of "getting", of "gaining". It simply is a change from light to dark. In English, things "get" dark.

But that's only one of many examples. Other examples of introducing or incorporating ideas:

French distinguishes between "to blow" air with one's mouth (french: souffler) and "to blow" an occasion (french: échouer).

English distinguises between "her" heart (french: son coeur) and "his" heart (french: son coeur).



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: darksky

I'm a French Canadian bilingual. I have to be, since Quebec has alot of anglophones (especially in Montreal and near Ontario).



edit on 2-6-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 10:24 AM
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It could just be anything that keeps the mind active.
If you're mentally switching from one language to another, that could help.
My parents used to do the cryptic crossword in the daily newspaper.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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originally posted by: darksky
Just out of curiosity, is speaking more than one language common amongst americans?


I'm not from the US. In Europe lots of people are bilingual.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: darksky



I'm a French Canadian bilingual. I have to be, since Quebec has alot of anglophones (especially in Montreal and near Ontario).








That I knew, but with my question I ment only americans born in the US, and with an american background

But while on that topic, is french mandatory in schools in Quebec?

Thanks for answering



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 03:47 PM
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originally posted by: Agartha

originally posted by: darksky

Just out of curiosity, is speaking more than one language common amongst americans?




I'm not from the US. In Europe lots of people are bilingual.


Yes, us europeans usually are

Thats part of why I asked since I wanted to see how big the difference is between europe and the us when it comes to language.

In elementary schools in at least parts of europe you usually have the opportunity to learn as many as four-five languages simultaneously which I think is great, but since the poor quality of the american education system has been discussed here recently I doubt that to be the case over there.
Was hoping to get some answers here but the thread seems pretty abandonned for the moment.


Thank you too for the answer

Cheers



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 03:50 PM
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Two thoughts ...

This makes sense. The more you exercise the brain, the more you could slow down progression.

BUT anecdotal observation ... my fatherinlaw and grandmother in law both spoke five languages fluently. They both ended up with dementia. My fatherinlaws started at about 70. Knowing so many languages either didn't help .. or they would have gotten dementia much earlier.



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 04:02 PM
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originally posted by: darksky
Just out of curiosity, is speaking more than one language common amongst americans?


Actually, speaking just ONE language correctly is already very uncommon in the US of A.
See "would of", "their", "they're" etc. : )



posted on Jun, 2 2014 @ 05:29 PM
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originally posted by: darksky
But while on that topic, is french mandatory in schools in Quebec?

Um, very good question. I'll have to check.

I went to french but maybe there are english schools in the English side.




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