Good news for me: Bilingualism delays onset of dementia.
People who are fully bilingual and speak both languages every day for most of their lives can delay the onset of dementia by up to four years compared with those who only know one language, Canadian scientists said on Friday.
Researchers said the extra effort involved in using more than one language appeared to boost blood supply to the brain and ensure nerve connections remained healthy – two factors thought to help fight off dementia.
Bialystok stressed that bilingualism helped delay the start of dementia rather than preventing it altogether.
Psychologist Fergus Craik, another member of the team, said the data showed that being fully bilingual had “a huge protective effect” against the onset of dementia but he added that the study was still a preliminary finding. The team plans more research into the beneficial side effects of bilingualism.
That sounds like an incentive to make more people learn other languages and use them frequently.