Psychologist Ellen Bialystok and her colleagues at York University in Toronto presented findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Recent brain research shows that bilingual people’s brains function better and for longer after developing Alzheimer’s. All of the patients in the study had similar levels of cognitive impairment, but those who were bilingual had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years later on average.
It is believed that bilingual people constantly exercise their brain systems to prevent the two languages from interfering with one another. This becomes a cognitive benefit—an ability to cope when challenges arise and the brain is affected by the disease.
For more information about this research, read the entire article at http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/02/21/learning-second-language-protects-alzheimers/.