Bilingualism May Delay Clinical Manifestation of Alzheimer’s A study from Ghent University in Belgium, published in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition has established that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest four to five years later in bilinguals than in monolinguals. Psychologists and neurologists, led by Evy Woumans, examined 69 monolingual and 65 bilingual Belgian adults with probable Alzheimer’s ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   February 01, 2015
Bilingualism May Delay Clinical Manifestation of Alzheimer’s
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Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   February 01, 2015
Bilingualism May Delay Clinical Manifestation of Alzheimer’s
The ASHA Leader, February 2015, Vol. 20, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.20022015.16
The ASHA Leader, February 2015, Vol. 20, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.20022015.16
A study from Ghent University in Belgium, published in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition has established that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest four to five years later in bilinguals than in monolinguals.
Psychologists and neurologists, led by Evy Woumans, examined 69 monolingual and 65 bilingual Belgian adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease to determine the age of AD manifestation and AD diagnosis for each. They found that the age of AD manifestation was 71.5 years in monolinguals and 76.1 in bilinguals. A similar difference was found for the age of AD diagnosis—72.5 for monolinguals and 77.3 for bilinguals. Analyses controlled for other confounding factors, such as education, profession and socioeconomic status.
The findings confirm previous research suggesting that bilingualism can slow cognitive aging and contribute to cognitive reserve. The researchers postulate that constantly and actively controlling two languages is like a workout for the brain, challenging the brain’s gray cells and keeping them from degenerating.
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February 2015
Volume 20, Issue 2