Bilingualism delays dementia
Thread poster: Oliver Walter

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:10
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
May 15, 2012

A topic I have just seen in the German-language forum has inspired me to let you know this: In the New Scientist dated 5th May 2012 (pp. 31-33) there is an article entitled "My two minds", prefaced: "Speaking a second language can change everything from problem-solving skills to personality. It is almost as if you are two people, says Catherine de Lange" about the beneficial effects of being bilingual.

Very short extracts: "When I was just a newborn baby, my mother ... started speaking to me in French." and "Three years later, they repeated the study with a further 200 people showing signs of Alzheimer's disease. Again, there was around a five-year delay in the onset of symptoms in bilingual patients."
The article (without the pictures, that are not essential) is reproduced here (at least, it's there today):

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/catherine-de-lange

Oliver


 

Linda Karssies  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:10
Member (2010)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Good news May 15, 2012

I'll try to get hold of the article and thanks for bringing it to our attention.

 

Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:10
Member
English to German
Does bilingualism really protect against dementia? May 15, 2012

What researchers have discovered about the dementia, is unfortunately not true for the typical brain damages in case of the Alzheimer's disease.

Although the patients have a comparable intelligence, education and physical condition, bilingual Alzheimer patients show significantly more brain damage than monolinguals.

I have written a short article about this subject on May 12, 2012

in English here: MyDenglishBlog!

and

in German here: MeinDenglischerBlog!

We can only hope that the researches will find something against this disease before we all loose our brains...


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:10
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Alzheimer vs. dementia May 16, 2012

Marina Steinbach wrote:
Although the patients have a comparable intelligence, education and physical condition, bilingual Alzheimer patients show significantly more brain damage than monolinguals.

Well, perhaps bilinguals have so much more brain in the first place that they can tolerate more damage!

In contrast to what Marina's blog says, this web page:
http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2010/06/whats-difference-between-alzheimers-and.html
says that dementia is a symptom, and Alzheimer's disease is the cause of this symptom.
On the other hand, these two:
http://www.dementiaguide.com/community/dementia-articles/Differences%20between%20Dementia%20&%20Alzheimer's
and
http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=100
say that dementia can result from a number of causes, the most common of which is Alzheimer's Disease.
I think these last 2 are probably more correct than the first. In any case, I'm confident that knowing more than one language is, in some useful sense, better than knowing only one (not only for translators and interpreters).

Oliver


 

Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 21:10
English to Russian
+ ...
Quadrilinguals? May 16, 2012

Well, how much these scientists were thorough and where the data are on people speaking three, four and more languages?icon_smile.gif

I speak four: Ukrainian & Russian - natives, French and English - learned and upbreasts.

Given that, may I say "Goodbye, Mr. Altzheimer!.." icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2012-05-16 17:25 GMT]


 


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