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Dementia Delayed by the Capacity to Speak Two Languages

“The ability to speak two languages can delay the onset of dementia”, claims a research report. This study was conducted by Professor Ellen Bialystok of York University// at Toronto, Canada on 184 elderly patients.

Ninety three patients in this group were bilingual while the remaining spoke only one language. The average age in the bilingual group when dementia set in was 75.5 while it was 71.4 in the other group. The study had considered a lot of other factors like the ethnicity of the group, their basic education, cultural diversity and gender.

Professor Bialystok says that the ability of a person to converse in two languages augments a good load of blood supply to the brain and maintains the nerve connections to in an efficient manner. As the parts of the brain are constantly put to use, it helps to keep the brain in a functional condition for a long time thus delaying dementia.

The primary reason for dementia in elderly population is Alzheimer’s disease. Till date there is no cure found for this disease. Of course, bilingualism is not a protective shield against dementia but it only delays its onset. This group has planned on more research on this subject and the benefits of bilingualism.

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