Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Actively speaking two languages protects against cognitive impairment

"The prevalence of dementia in places where more than one language is spoken is 50% lower than in regions where the population uses only one language."

Also, "A study has shown that Alzheimer's patients with a higher degree of bilingualism receive a later diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment."

Language is arguably the greatest tool in the world. It is how we communicate, how we express our thoughts and knowledge and it often shapes our perspective. Language is also "a gateway to other cultures..." 

Studies have shown that speaking even just two languages regularly "enhances cognitive reserve" and delays the onset of dementia. 

Prior to these studies, previous work showed that the lifelong use of two or more languages could be a "key factor in increasing cognitive reserve and delaying onset of dementia, as well as offering advantages for memory and executive functions."

Learning and using two languages regularly will not only increase your effectiveness to delve into other cultures and communicate with people from those cultures, it will also provide you with the ability to keep those memories—and others—for much longer.

See Cristina Saez, Actively speaking two languages protects against cognitive impairment, September 17, 2020. 

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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