Sunday, August 25, 2013

How To Prevent Cognitive Impairment: Language Matters


My opinion:  While the results of this study in general are not surprising, I am a bit surprised that the correlations are so strong.  Doctors used to tell me that, in order to prevent cognitive impairment, it may be helpful to use some brain power for various activities.  For example, many say that doing crossword puzzles and math problems contributes to preventing Alzheimer's disease.  Though I like this study, I think it could be improved by accounting for other factors in the patients' lifestyles.  Perhaps a combination of mental efforts work best, but these results indicate that language has a profound impact on its own.  Any other tips for preventing cognitive impairment or for improving this study?  Feel free to comment.

Speaking More Than Two Languages Has a Protective Effect on Memory


According a study, people who speak more than two languages may lower their risk of developing memory problems.”It appears speaking more than two languages has a protective effect on memory in seniors who practice foreign languages over their lifetime or at the time of the study,” said study author Magali Perquin.The study involved 230 men and women with an average age of 73 who had spoken or currently spoke two to seven languages. Of the participants, 44 reported cognitive problems; the rest of the group had no memory issues.
Researchers discovered that those people who spoke four or more languages were five times less likely to develop cognitive problems compared to those people who only spoke two languages.
People who spoke three languages were three times less likely to have cognitive problems compared to bilinguals. In addition, people who currently spoke more than two languages were also four times less likely to have cognitive impairment. The results accounted for the age and the education of the participants.  “Further studies are needed to try to confirm these findings and determine whether the protection is limited to thinking skills related to language or if it also extends beyond that and benefits other areas of cognition,” said Perquin.

From: http://www.a-health-blog.com/speaking-more-than-two-languages-has-a-protective-effect-on-memory.html

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