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Bilingualism to Protect Individuals against Cognitive Impairment Associated With Aging, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Bilingualism to Protect Individuals against Cognitive Impairment Associated With Aging, Study Suggests

According to a collaborative studies initiated by the researchers of Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) have suggested that learning more than one language not only aids to understand other cultures but also offers neurological benefits and safeguards people from cognitive impairment that are linked with aging.

Marco Calabria, lead researcher stated, “The prevalence of dementia in countries where more than one language is spoken is 50% lower than in those regions where the population uses only one language to communicate. We wanted to discover the mechanism through which bilingualism contributes to cognitive reserve in cases of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's, and whether there were differences in terms of the benefit gained from different degrees of bilingualism, and not only between monolingual and bilingual people.”

Moreover, in this study researchers involved the population of Barcelona (Spain), where both Catalan and Spanish language is spoken predominantly. Researchers evaluated the degree of bilingualism that offers neuroprotective benefits on Barcelona populace, as in Barcelona around entire populace was bilingual.

In the study, researchers considered 63 healthy individuals, 135 patients with mild cognitive impairment, and 68 people with Alzheimer's (most prevalent type of dementia) and utilized a questionnaire to evaluate each person's degree of bilingualism and then connected this degree with the age of neurological diagnosis and the onset of symptoms.

Later after the analysis researchers observed that the participants with a high degree of bilingualism received a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment later in compared to participants who were passive bilinguals. Researchers further suggested that incase of bilingual, brain utilize alternative systems for resolving the problem. Researchers observed that when an individuals used both languages there was more neuroprotective benefits.

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