June 15, 2004
Bilingualism: antidote for senility?
According to the researchers cited, bilingual people do better on cognitive tests. They didn't study people who learned a second language as an adult, though.
12 years ago
Huh. Just reading the headline, I had my doubts, but reading the article, I see they controlled for education and so on. Interesting.
Many things help mitigate against senility. Playing games, keeping mentally active, nutrient loading, eating much less fat, blood thinning, moderate alcohol consumption, even. But the best way to mitigate against senility is not to possess the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele gene. I would class this as under 'mental activity'. Apparently playing Mastermind is good, too. I plan on keeping bees.
I'm with Nostrildamus. The biggest warning sign is the quote: "
Language is always good -- more language is always better
." I hope the researcher was quoted out of context and is not that dogmatic really. I'm actually curious after reading the
of their article -- how is proficiency at the
indicative of mental acuity? It seems like a (rather boring) reflex-based video game. Any simian psychologists around?
I don't think many apes have passed the University entrance exams, actually, tensor, but there may be some non-professional psychologists among maqaques, I know they read the papers.
I think there are multiple studies showing that generally keeping your mind active will help prevent Alzheimer's-type disorders. I remember one that said doing things like crosswords and jigsaws is a good preventative.
Interesting, Nostril. What is this gene of which you speak? Is there a test for it?
Of course, just living Southern Cal-eee-fornia, you just naturally pick up some
, but I still have to keep reminding myself that Chalupa is not a real word.
Sure it is!
The apolipoprotein E type 4 allele (APOE-epsilon 4) is a kind of protein; it's involved in the transport of cholesterol and other non-water solluble mollecules. It is associated with common late onset family-inherited and variant forms of Alzheimer's disease. Risk for AD increased from
20% to 90%
, which I'm sure you can understand is quite significant, and mean age at onset decreased from 84 to 68 years with increasing number of APOE-epsilon 4 alleles in families tested (that manifested late onset AD). Therefore APOE-epsilon 4 gene
is a major risk factor for late onset AD (everyone has this gene, you see) and, in such families, having identical genes at one or more loci in homologous chromosome segments of APOE-epsilon 4 has been considered "virtually sufficient" to cause AD by age 80. Obviously, genetic testing is available for identifying this gene. However, it's associated with other disorders such as coronary heart disease and cholesterol problems. Thus, just identifying the presence of numbers of this gene isn't a guaranteed test for AD. You can be assured that a guaranteed test for AD is a high priority of medical research, but such a test does not exist, AFAIK, at this time. Again, we all have APOE-epsilon 4. What I said before about not having it was a joke. Just don't have too much of it. :) But if you do, there's bugger-all you can do about it. I would add, lest my non-professional and totally simplistic rendering of this data cause concern to monkeys, that
most people do not get Alzeimher's Disease
, so don't worry. My earlier comment was somewhat tongue in cheek and off-the-cuff. I assume that there are multitudes of *causes* of senility, in actual fact. Here, eat this bun.
"But if you do, there's bugger-all you can do about it."
-- except learn another language, apparently.
Of course 'chalupa' is a real word. You just need to go to Mexico City and visit Texcoco Lake to find out (beautiful place).
So, since I speak three languages (and curse fluently in eight) I'm gonna be scott-free! I welcome my old age overlords!!!
I speak 4 languages (three of them daily) but tend to mix things up regularly. So I often feel like I'm already senile.
This means that when we're all drooling and making poopies in old age, Languagehat will be changing our diapers. And laughing.
He won't laugh when he's changing *my* diapers, I can assure you.
But PF might.
Actually, I mix up my languages too, Mare. I'll start in French and end in Japanese. Confuses the shit out of people, so maybe it's the same thing. Pretty funny nonetheless though.
Nostril; Gibbons make excellent proofreaders.
Languagehat will be changing our diapers
I'm more in the "would buy Languagehat a beer" crew, but whaddahey, it's your story. *hides under desk*
*drools with anticipated pleasure* *makes stroking motions in the air*
I think there are multiple studies showing that generally keeping your mind active will help prevent Alzheimer's-type disorders
I am sure there is some sort of Reagen joke lurking around here somewhere. If only I could spot it.
I've forgotten what we were talking about. Who are you again? Where's my bus ticket, mommy?
I remember seeing a news story a long time ago about a convent that's been used to study the effects of age on the brain. Evidently the average age of the nuns of that order is something like 70, but they're such an intellectually active convent that they show a much lower incidence of senility and Alzheimer's than the average person. Anybody remember this?
[following surlyboi's example:] Mais qu'est-ce que vous voulez dire! Chikusho!! *makes
followed by samurai-chop motion* *guzzles Wolof's beer, tosses diapers out window*
Omoshiroi ya ne. Mais, boku no transitions sont mecha mecha dramatique et spectaculaire. *Points at nose, launches a cow over the ramparts at the silly English ka-nigits*
The Quebecois will live forever.
A Habitable Grief I was a child in a strange country" I was Irish in England. I learned a second language there which has stood me in good stead: the lingua franca of a lost land. A dialect in which what had never been could still be found: that infinite horizon. Always far and impossible. That contrary passion to be whole. This is what language is: a habitable grief. A turn of speech for the everyday and ordinary abrasion of losses such as this: which hurts just enought to be scar. And heals just enough to be a nation.
-- Eaven Boland