Learning a Second Language Known to Slow Brain Aging

In our school days, learning a second language was usually a requirement that everyone had to partake in – no matter on whether they liked it or not! Here’s another great reason why you should learn  a second language: it is known to slow or stop the brain aging. The University of Edinburgh says that learning a language can have a positive effect on the brain, even up until high school. Guess it’s time to break out those old textbooks, then!

Learning a second language could help in improving one’s reading and intelligence skills. A big question in the study has been if learning a new language improved cognitive functions. Dr. Thomas Bak is from the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh and Dr Bak has said the pattern they found was “meaningful” and the improvements in attention, focus and fluency could not be explained by original intelligence.

“These findings are of considerable practical relevance. Millions of people around the world acquire their second language later in life. Our study shows that bilingualism, even when acquired in adulthood, may benefit the aging brain.”

While it may seem to answer your questions about everything, it is only getting started. It’s raised many a question, like whether learning more than one language could also have the same exact positive effect on cognitive aging.

Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston,  said: “The epidemiological study provides an important first step in understanding the impact of learning a second language and the aging brain.”

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images


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