Do bilinguals have a lower risk of developing dementia?

lingo flamingo
Spanish tutor works with elderly students. Image: Lingo Flamingo
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If the benefits of being bilingual spill over to other aspects of cognition, then we would expect to see a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in bilinguals than in monolinguals, or at least a later onset of Alzheimer’s for bilinguals. In fact, there is evidence to support this claim. The psychologist Ellen Bialystok and her colleagues obtained the histories of 184 individuals who had made use of a memory clinic in Toronto. For those who showed signs of dementia, the monolinguals in the sample had an average age at time of onset of 71.4 years. The bilinguals, in contrast, received their diagnosis at 75.5 years, on average.

But as encouraging as these kinds of studies are, they still have not established exactly how or why differences between bilinguals and monolinguals exist. Because these studies looked back at the histories of people who were already bilingual, the results can only say that a difference between the two groups was found, but not why that difference occurred. 

Related article:  Increased dementia risk linked to high blood pressure during middle age

But even if studying a foreign language is not a magical cure-all, there is one thing it will do: It will make you a better speaker of a foreign language. 

Read full, original post: Can Learning a Foreign Language Prevent Dementia?

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend