1.14.2007

Don't Lose Your Mind: Become Bilingual!

Yes! Knowing and using a second languages delays the onset of dementia.

The startling discovery is likely to revolutionize the prevention of Alzheimer's and other dementia-causing diseases

The study found that the mean age for the onset of dementia symptoms for monolingual individuals was 71.4 years, while for bilingual individuals it was 75.5 years.

The Canadian researchers from Toronto's York College attribute the positive affect of bilingualism to a boost in the blood supply to the brain which ensures that nerve connections remain healthy -- two factors thought to help fight off dementia.

Thrilled by the study's findings, The Alzheimer Society of Canada said the results confirm other studies showing that an active brain is the best defense against dementia.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America estimates the financial costs of Alzheimer's in the U.S. is estimated to be as follows:


The national tab for caring for individuals with Alzheimer's disease is estimated at $100 billion annually.

Alzheimer's disease costs U.S. businesses more than $60 billion a year, stemming from lost productivity and absenteeism by primary caregivers, and insurance costs.

The annual cost of caring for one individual with Alzheimer's disease ranges from nearly $18,500 to more than $36,000, depending on the stage of the disease.
Might saving a ton of money convince the anti-bilingual advocates to reconsider?

Given the obvious benefits of bilingualism, might strict monolingualists be themselves suffering from a form of mental dementia?