Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Here's an article in French that readers should find interesting, on the benefits of learning other languages on memory loss, one that apparently not only shows that bilingualism is good for the brain, but that trilingualism is better than bilingualism and so on. If anyone feels like tracking down the source to the actual study, let me know and I'll add it. The study was unsurprisingly conducted in Luxembourg.
According to a study in Luxembourg, multilingualism reduces the risk of early onset of memory problems, and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Magali Perquin and her team at the CRP (Centre Public de Recherche - Public Research Centre) in health in Luxembourg took a look at 230 subjects of both genders, with an average age of 73 years. What they have in particular is that each of them are at least bilingual, with some speaking up to seven languages.
"We've observed that mastering or having mastered at least two languages through one's life has a protective effect on the memory of seniors", explained the author. She also found that trilinguals were three times less exposed to memory problems than bilinguals. Quadrilinguals - up to five times less.
Magali Perquin also said that the age and level of education of the participants were also taken into account.
At the end of the article it also mentions some other things that help against Alzheimer's, such as a study last January showing that adults that walked at least 10 km per week were less exposed to the risk of Alzheimer's than others.