Students Should Learn Second Language to Prevent Dementia Later in Life

March 4, 2016 | By Lorenzo Mejia

A recent study has found that dementia appears up to five years later in bilingual people. Scientist think that learning a language while a student will protect the brain as people age from developing dementia. Studies have shown that monolinguists develop dementia up to five years earlier than those that speak a second language. The study revealed that bilingual people have a cognitive reserve that delays the onset of memory loss.

The researchers at the Bilingualism Matters Centre believe learning languages has a huge impact on the brain and should be taught to children from the age of 5 through the university years. One study taught Gaelic to a retired group of people that had never spoken the language over an intensive week long course. They found significant changes in cognitive brain function of those taking a language course compared to those taking other courses. One of the significant findings was that education in general prevented dementia. A poor education is one of seven risk factors which raise the risk of developing dementia. The others are smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, little exercise, depression and obesity.
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