Being bilingual or even trilingual may prove to be a boon to Filipinos, as according to Science Daily, speaking more than one language may help delay the development of three types of dementia.
Together with a team of experts, study author Suvarna Alladi, DM, from Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, worked with 648 older adults who have been diagnosed with dementia, 391 of whom spoke two or more languages, and 14 percent of whom were illiterate.
The team also classified the participants according to the type of cognitive impairment they had: 240 had Alzheimer’s disease, 189 had vascular dementia, 116 had frontotemporal dementia, and the rest had dementia with Lewy bodies and mixed dementia.
Researchers found that those who spoke two or more languages developed their diseases later in life, regardless of whether they could read or not. “Speaking more than one language is thought to lead to better development of the areas of the brain that handle executive functions and attention tasks, which may help protect from the onset of dementia,” Alladi explains.
Aside from learning a second language, older adults may also fight dementia by staying physically active, eating healthy, involving themselves in social activities, and stimulating their brains through puzzles and games.
(Photo by Presagio via Flickr Creative Commons; used for illustrative purposes only)