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Learning new languages and dementia

Learning new languages and dementia

Latest studies show that keeping the brain active helps to delay or even possibly prevent dementia at an older age.

Alongside different activities like exercise and a healthy lifestyle, constant engagement in mental activity is essential for a prolonged quality living.

In a new study published in Neuroepidemiology that analysed results from the memory tests of more than 11,000 older Europeans, researchers found that education can combat cognitive decline — to a point.

While education itself helps to increase brain capacity, learning something NEW at the adult age works even better. It is advised for senior citizens to take music lessons, play cards, or learn a completely new language. There is a difference in how brain reacts on improving existing skills and learning something completely new. It was said that new knowledge stimulates activity on a much higher level.

According to Thomas Bak, a neuroscientist at Edinburgh University, people benefited by attempting a second language even if they were far from fluent. Learning a second language can delay the onset of some kinds of dementia by six years, according to new research.

Even five hours a week of learning can build up a “cognitive reserve” counteracting the effects of brain disease and boosting function in all age groups. It defers the onset of a type of frontotemporal dementia by six years, Alzheimer’s by 3.2 years and stroke-related dementia by 3.7 years. One researcher found “Compared with anything that drugs can do, these are very long peris”.

Exeter Language Club took a “five-a-day” approach to the next level and is offering Language classes and conversational evenings to adults and senior citizens and welcomes anyone to join.

Blog

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