Do you know more than two languages? If yes, then people who know two or more languages are more immune to dementia than the ones who know only one language.
Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning.
According to the team of Researchers, it has been established that years of bilingualism changes in a way that the brain carries out tasks that require concentrating on one piece of information without becoming distracted by other information.
It helps in making the brain more efficient and economical with its resources.
“After years of daily practice managing interference between two languages, bilinguals become experts at selecting relevant information and ignoring information that can distract from a task,” said Dr Ana Inés Ansaldo from the University of Montreal.
"Bilinguals juggle two languages at a time, which requires more effort from the brain," said Emanuel Bylund, a lecturer in linguistics at Stellenbosch University.
"You have to constantly suppress one language so that it doesn't come out when you're using the other.
"The onset of dementia is usually later in bilingual individuals, but a number of other experiences might postpone dementia, such as doing crosswords, having a rich social life and exercising.
"However, there isn't a lot of research on this topic in the South African context and it is not yet known which of these experiences is the most efficient."
"Having more centralised and specialised functional connections saves resources compared to the multiple and more diverse brain areas allocated by monolinguals to accomplish the same task."
The work has been published in the journal ‘Neurolinguistics’ under the name of ‘Interference control at the response level: Functional networks reveal higher efficiency in the bilingual brain’.