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Bilingualism against Alzheimer


Campo di grano con corvi, da Van Gogh, acrilico, 4 anni

How benefical is bilingualism?

A study published in the journal Neurology seems to show the beneficial effects of bilingualism even on  Alzheimer disease. The study demonstrates that people who grew up bilingual, or at least have used more than one language for most of their life (we speak about "lifelong bilingualism") showed the symptoms of Alzheimer several years later than monolinguals suffering the same disease.

It's necessary, however, to take distance from this statement, one cannot conclude that bilinguals are immune to Alzheimer. The study shows that, in general, people who have remained active in terms of social and mental health are better protected, within certain limits, from neurological damage caused by certain types of diseases. Bilingualism is part of this type of attitude, it’s a lifestyle that would keep our brain active and therefore would create a cognitive reserve, which would partly offset future neurological damage.


These developments, among others, were presented at the Annual Meeting News, Washington D.C., 2011 held by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which gathered the results of several studies carried out by researchers from several universities, all finalized to recognize the role of bilingualism in the development of our brain.

"Every little bit helps. The longer you've been bilingual, the more you use all your languages, the more fluent you are, all of those things contribute” says Ellen Bialystok, York University, Canada, the period of life experienced as a bilingual, the time of use of known languages ​​and the level of language knowledge are all factors that contribute to constitute those reserves of the brain that help to better deal with phases of decline.  So the contribution of bilingualism (and multilingualism) on our mental health seems beyond doubt, but experts do not believe that bilingualism is a remedy against the neurologic decline, it represents an activity that helps keep your brain trained, providing a supplementary reserve, if needed.


0 #3 Foot Problems 2017-08-09 09:07
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0 #2 Giovanna 2011-09-08 19:57
Ciao Elisabetta,

effettivamente la ricerca conferma gli effetti positivi del bilinguismo sullo sviluppo del nostro cervello.

Quindi in bocca al lupo per le tue figlie!
0 #1 elisabetta 2011-09-07 12:17
Io ho due figlie bilingui, sono molto intelligenti e brillanti a scuola. Penso non sia unn caso. Tra l'altro hanno facilità nell'apprendimento delle lingue.

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