A new study published by the University of Kentucky concluded that seniors who have learned a second language as a child are more likely to suffer less symptoms typically associated to Alzheimer disease.
The experiments conducted by doctor Brian Gold, selected 2 groups of senior citizens and gave each attention-switching task which is a skill that increase in difficulty with age. Doctor Gold found that bilingual participants were better at the tasks. It is seniors had to sort colors and shapes. He then repeat it the task, this time attaching a scanner to the head of each participant.
What the scanners showed is that brains of monolingual seniors had to work harder to complete each task, while the brain activity of bilinguals was more relax and efficient.
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Researches think that having more brain skills can help preserve thinking and memory as well as many other senses likely to suffer from brain diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. The research was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
In highly populated cities like New York, it is estimated that up to 60% of the population speak 2 of more languages. For the rest of America, it is believed that about 20% of the population is bilingual.
This study is another evidence against the old believe that children learning a second language had a problem learning proper English. In the past in America, speaking a second language was considered a liability.
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