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Speaking Several Languages Might Protect Memory
Date:2/22/2011

ect against age-related mental decline.

It is unknown, however, whether fluency in multiple languages protects against mental decline or is simply a marker of potentially protective traits, like increased intelligence and superior ability, Lipton said, describing it as "sort of a chicken-and-egg problem."

"My preference is to believe that all forms of cognitive engagement will help you to age better and protect against dementia," he noted.

Whether that cognitive engagement includes playing bridge or chess or learning multiple languages, Lipton said, "I want to believe what we do makes a difference."

Research presented at meetings has not been subjected to the same review process given to studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, experts note.

More information

For more information on memory loss and aging, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCES: Magali Perquin, Ph.D., researcher, Public Research Center for Health (CRP-Sante), Luxembourg; Richard Lipton, M.D., professor and vice chair, neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Feb. 22, 2011, news release, American Academy of Neurology; April 2011, presentation, American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, Honolulu


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