Bilingualism could delay the first signs of dementia

2023-04-30 16:49:00

Useful in our personal life as in our professional life, being bilingual has, in essence, its share of advantages. But speaking two or more languages ​​might also benefit our health, and more specifically our memory later in life. reports the New York Times.

If this hypothesis is not new, a recent study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging however, reinforces it. After bringing together nearly 750 patients aged 59 to 76, German researchers have indeed found that “those who reported using two languages ​​daily from an early age performed better on learning and memory tests […] than patients who spoke only one language.” This work would thus be in line with previous studies according to which bilingualism would have positive effects once morest cognitive decline.

“It is promising to find that bilingualism at different stages of life has a beneficial effect on cognitive health in later life”underlines in the columns of the New York Times Miguel Arce Rentería, neuropsychologist at Columbia University. “It would corroborate some pre-existing work.”

A still vast field of study

But how to explain this phenomenon? Because bilingual people move fluently from one language to another, neuroscientists speculate that they might be able to deploy similar strategies in other areas, including managing emotions or being able to perform several things at once. This might then help to delay the onset of dementia.

“The study of bilingualism at different stages of life is a unique approach”says Boon Lead Tee, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco. “With their impressive sample, the authors of this new study will likely be able to obtain other novel results, such as determining whether the age at which a person acquired each language affects their cognition later in life. .”

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