Speaking Many Languages Might Protect the Memory

A new study which will be shortly presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, states that speaking more than two languages might lower one’s risk of developing memory problems later in life. Using more than two languages has a positive and protective effect on the memory among senior citizens.

Magali Perquin, from the Center for Health Studies from the Public Research Center for Health, Luxembourg, feels that people who practice foreign languages during their lifetime have lesser memory problems during old age. The study was conducted on 230 participants, the average age being 73. These participants had spoken or had been speaking two to seven different languages. Out of these participants only 44 suffered from cognitive problems while the rest had no memory issues. Researchers also found that people speaking four or more languages were less likely to have cognitive problems (five times less) as compared to bilinguals. People who are currently practicing different languages also had lesser cognitive problems (four times less).

This study forms a basis for further research to confirm the findings. It needs to be determined if this protection is only for thinking skills associated with language or if it extends and benefits other areas of cognition too.

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