Sprechen Sie Dementia?

Study shows learning or speaking a foreign language can guard against dementia, Alzheimer's disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) People who speak two languages may be at less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Speaking two languages appears to protect memory in seniors who practice foreign language, said study author Magali Perquin, PhD, with the Center for Health Studies from the Public Research Center for Health ("CRP-Santé") in Luxembourg.

The study looked at 230 men and women (average age of 73) who had spoken or currently speak two to seven languages and found 44 reported cognitive problems. Those who spoke four or more languages were five times less to develop cognitive problems.

Researchers adjusted for age and education.

Dementia affects more than 24 million people worldwide. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 5 million Americans. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

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Review Date: 
February 23, 2011
Last Updated:
February 24, 2011