New research suggests that being bi-lingual offers more benefits than just being able to converse in two languages. In fact, the ability to speak two languages has shown an increased ability in multi-tasking, plus it may protect the brain against significant health risks like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research has found the benefits to exist whether or not the language was learned during childhood or not. Learning a second language at any point in life may combat brain decline just as well.
The study explains that individuals who spoke just one language started experiencing symptoms of dementia more than 5 years sooner than individuals who were bi-lingual. Additionally, full-blown Alzheimer’s was diagnosed more than 4 years earlier for those who knew just one language.
While this study appears to show many benefits of being bi-lingual, other studies have suggested otherwise. While results have not been concluded, preliminary results allude to the fact that overall brain function is affected very little whether the individual can speak one or two languages.
Researchers are skeptical about the second study, however, as many believe keeping the brain active may effectively help it combat dementia-like symptoms.
One way to keep the brain active — learn a second language.
Experts explain that the consistent mental battle about various rules in each language is enough to keep the brain active for individuals who speak two languages.
Additional research is to be conducted about these findings.