Oui! The More Languages You Know The Better Off You Are!
Recent studies found that trilingual people have a significantly lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who are bilingual.
According to Magali Perquin, PhD, of the Public Research Center for Health in Luxembourg – “It appears speaking more than two languages has a protective effect on memory in seniors who practice foreign languages over their lifetime or at the time of the study.”
Interesting to note that this study was done in Luxembourg, a tiny country that boasts three official languages, with many residents speaking several languages.
When compared with bilinguals, the research showed:
* Participants who had spoken three languages were significantly more likely to be protected against cognitive impairment. The odds ratio was 3.58, with a 95% confidence interval from 1.13 to 11.37.
* Those with four languages were even better off — the odds ratio was 5.66, with a 95% confidence interval from 1.48 to 21.59.
* Those with five or more languages had similar protection: the odds ratio was 5.23, with a 95% confidence interval from 1.11 to 24.53.
So to protect oneself from the onset of dementia, add “learn some new languages” to the list of stimulating intellectual activities that help keep the brain alert.