People who are capable of speaking two languages have a higher resistance to Alzheimer’s disease as compared to regular people who can only speak one language. The fact was recently revealed by a team of Italian researchers who were doing the research. During their study they observed that people who can speak two languages simply out performed single language speaking people in the long and short term memory tasks even though the scans were showing that bilingual people’s brain metabolism was deteriorating at a high rate.
The ability to speak two different languages offers brain with better resilience against the damages done by Alzheimer’s – as is explained by Dr. Daniela Perani who is also a professor of psychology at the Vita-SAlute San Raffaele University located in Milan. Faster a person swaps between two different languages in their lifetime, higher is the capability of their brain to switch between different pathways that can maintain two different kinds of thinking lanes even as Alzheimer’s damages.
Prior studies show that if a person follows bilingualism for a lifetime, it will delay the starting of their brain’s dementia by as late as five years. The studies on how it takes place is yet to be done. In order to examine this, the team made some close observation through scans along with memory tests on more than 85 senior members who were suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. 45 out of these were capable of speaking both Italian and German and forty could speak only one language. Perani Says,” Our finding suggests that in bilingual patients with Alzheimer’s dementia both mechanisms are at play, since neuronal loss is accompanied by compensatory increase of connectivity, allowing bilingual patients to maintain high neuropsychological performance and cognitive functioning longer than monolingual [patients]”
Filed Under: News