Women may decrease the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease by learning a second language, according to new scientific research that suggests being bilingual improves cognitive skills (Smart Planet).
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are often used interchangeably; however, Dementia refers to a range of symptoms and not a particular disease. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common forms of Dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects memory loss and intellectual functioning.
Not everyone will develop Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetime; however, it is important for one to know their family history. The more relatives that have the disease, the greater an individual’s risk factor, according to American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), about 10 percent of patients have a familial link.
Most patients develop the disease around age 65. The disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of Dementia cases (Alzheimer’s Association). Furthermore, contrary to belief, it is not just an elderly disease. Alzheimer’s has been diagnosed in up to five percent of patients under 50.
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and no substitute for medication management, proper exercise of the brain can improve cognition because it allows the brain to remain active. In a scientific study conducted by American Academy of Neurology located in Toronto, Canada, 211 with Alzheimer’s were examined. Out of the 211 patients, 102 were classified bilingual. The results concluded that Alzheimer’s in patients who spoke more than one language delayed the onset by five years.
There is no guarantee that bilingual individuals won’t develop Alzheimer’s; however, learning a second language can help strengthen the brain, assist with memory, and delay symptoms. According to the study (American Academy of Neurology), bilingual individuals were diagnosed 4.3 years later than individuals speaking one language.
Language programs can help build bilingual skills and help individuals improve foreign fluency. Rosetta Stone is a language learning program that allows people to learn by integrating real life situations.
The beneficial elements of language programs, such as Rosetta Stone is that it works at your own pace. Furthermore, the learning software comes in five different levels, which helps people to progress in a timely manner.
It is never too late to learn a foreign language, although the earlier an individual learns, the better the chances of fluency because the brain can absorb more information. Regardless of age, consistent communication, and learning a foreign language can enhance memory.
Rosetta Stone also uses images for association. The association helps to improve memory because of pictorial recognition. Repeatedly seeing the images, hearing sound, and practicing language helps to focus the mind.
Learning a language can be fun when working at your own pace and practicing with others. Keeping the mind active with cognitive exercise is essential in decreasing Alzheimer’s in women. Although there is no guarantee that being bilingual improves the functioning of the brain or that Dementia symptoms greatly will decline, an active mind can cause for happier times.