bilingual, french, english, dementiaWould you learn a new language if it would help your health? You may have heard that bilingual children actually have more brainpower than kids who grow up speaking only one language. (Learn more about the cognitive advantages that bilingual kids have here.)

But could speaking multiple languages help you at the other end of life as well? Neuroscientists now say yes. Bilingualism appears to protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In a recent study, Dr. Ellen Bialystok at York University found that in bilingual patients with dementia, the disease had a later onset than in monolingual patients. On average, being bilingual delayed the disease by four to five years.

Why does being bilingual protect against dementia? Regularly speaking two languages strengthens different parts of the brain. This exercise helps what neuroscientists call “executive control,” which refers to complex cognitive skills like planning, working memory, mental flexibility, and many other important functions. These skills are the first to disappear as we age, but some activities (like eating well, exercising regularly, and doing word puzzles) have been shown to stave off mental decline in old age. Apparently, being bilingual has a similar impact.

Does your high school French class count? Sadly no. How often you speak a second language, and how well you know it, both influence to what degree being bilingual can protect against dementia. Other variables, like when a patient learned the second language, have not been examined.

Are you more likely to learn another language because it has positive health impact?

January Retail Sales Score a Strong Rebound.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News February 8, 2002 By Renee Degross, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Feb. 8–Retailers posted their January sales figures Thursday, and they were the strongest in nearly two years. Analysts said they offered hope for better economic times.

Mike Niemira, senior economist with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, said his retail index of 78 chains showed same-store sales increased 5.2 percent over January 2001. lenoxsquaremall.net lenox square mall

Bear Stearns’ retail index also was up 5.2 percent.

“It’s a signal of a better retail environment,” Niemira said.

The last time signals were as loud was December 2000, when his index correctly showed a rough road ahead, Niemira said.

Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of all economic activity, which is why the Federal Reserve and analysts are keeping a close watch on sales trends.

If any of them visited the jammed parking lot at Lenox Square mall on the weekend, they’d wonder if Atlanta hasn’t already emerged from the recession.

Nationwide, however, discounters and wholesale clubs continued in January to steal shoppers away from department stores, most of which are struggling to attract customers.

Some surprises were in the January numbers, including J.C. Penney’s strong 5.9 percent gain in same-store sales in the department store division. The numbers also held some disappointments, including the Gap, whose sales fell 16 percent from January 2001, and May Department Stores, down 10.7 percent at stores including Lord & Taylor.

Federated Department Stores’ sales at stores open a year or more decreased 8.8 percent but were within analyst expectations. Sears’ comparable sales decreased 3.4 percent. site lenox square mall

Wal-Mart posted same-store gains of 8.3 percent; Target sales were up 5.8 percent.

Goody’s Family Clothing rang up slight gains of 1.3 percent in comparable sales after seeing its fourth quarter sales decrease 8.7 percent.

Bob Goodfriend, Goody’s chief executive officer, said it’s too soon to say if the chain has turned the corner.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Goodfriend, who was in Atlanta on Thursday shooting a spring store commercial.

Although layoffs remain rampant, and consumer debt is mounting, economists such as Carl Steidtmann with Deloitte Research say there is relief out there in the form of lower interest rates, tax reductions and cheaper energy prices.

“It makes it easier to bear the debt,” Steidtmann said.

Also in January, shoppers were out there gobbling up the discounts.



  1. Ashish -  December 3, 2012 - 4:15 am

    I just started with my fifth language- Russian, following English, French, Hindi and Punjabi.

  2. Frenchlove -  October 28, 2012 - 12:42 am

    Why I learnt Francias!
    J’aime le Francias! ( I love French!)

  3. Tushar -  July 13, 2012 - 12:14 am

    DeeptiD(NSK) on April 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm——-

  4. Stella -  May 30, 2012 - 12:00 am

    In my country, English is the first language and one’s own mother tongue is the second language spoken, so I guess it helps unless if your mother tongue happens to be English.

  5. the fox with crackers -  May 8, 2012 - 4:17 pm

    i am 12

  6. the fox with crackers -  May 8, 2012 - 4:15 pm


  7. rockstar -  May 2, 2012 - 10:22 am

    i,m 10

  8. rockstar -  May 2, 2012 - 10:19 am

    :( :) ;o

  9. rockstar -  May 2, 2012 - 10:17 am

    i know only 4 langes welllllllllll a bit of everthing :)(: o and stay like a rockstar

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