To Slow Brain Aging, Learn a New Language

Even if you're already an adult, researchers suggest
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2014 11:58 AM CDT
To Slow Brain Aging, Learn a New Language
Learning a second language could help you slow the brain's aging process.   (Shutterstock)

We've already heard that being bilingual can help you fight dementia. Now, some follow-up good news: Even if you're an adult, it may not be too late to reap the cognitive benefits of learning a new language, the BBC reports. Researchers performed intelligence tests on 262 bilingual people in their seventies and compared the results with the subjects' test scores at age 11. The subjects' cognitive scores in their seventies were significantly better than baseline expectations—whether they picked up their second language early or later in life, a press release notes.

Some 195 of the participants became bilingual as children, but 65 didn't learn new languages until adulthood. "Millions of people around the world acquire their second language later in life," a researcher says. "Our study shows that bilingualism, even when acquired in adulthood, may benefit the aging brain." (More aging stories.)

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