In an article published by The Wall Street Journal, researchers that have been comparing cognitive functions between bilingual and monolingual speakers, suggest that speaking more than one language may help delay the start of dementia.  According to the researchers, a comparison between the treatment of both groups show that  “bilingual patients were, on average, four years older than single-language speakers when their families first noticed memory problems, or when the patient first came to the clinic seeking treatment”.  While this is certainly an interesting finding, the researchers warn that it should no t be taken as conclusive: “bilingual patients’ memories were no worse than those of single-language speakers by the time they arrived at the clinic, and there was no difference in the length of time between the detection of symptoms and when the patients were first checked in”.  The article also point to the fact that other investigations have found “that the brains of the bilingual people appeared to be in worse physical condition”. This fact suggests that “bilingualism doesn’t delay the disease process itself, but rather helps bilingual individuals better handle memory deficits”.

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