India seems to become a regular here on Fair Languages are there is an increasing number of studies in and around the countries and its linguistic landscape. For example, if you’re interested in learning more about India’s English proficiency you can read our article on a recent survey carried out by Education First.
Neurologists in Hyderabad are looking at Indian multilingualism from a different angle. They ask themselves whether speaking more than one language indeed protects the brain and may even prevent it from dementia.
India might be considered the ideal testing ground as even the most illiterate are considered bilingual. The pure numbers make India the country with the biggest multilingual population worldwide this according to the chairperson of the research group.
Two interesting studies from the University of Toronto, Canada show a) that bilingual patients suffered from dementia on average 4.1 years later than monolingual patients and b) suggest strong scientific evidence that constant brain activity as ensured through language learning may delay the Alzheimer and dementia up to five years.
In India, besides the obvious benefit for the population and patients of concrete proof and a connection between speaking several languages and keeping our brains fit and healthy, there would be a second benefit for Indian research that could establish itself as the global leader in the in the field in the next ten years.
As indicated above, neurologists have already considered the positive effects of multilingualism to prevent or at least delay Alzheimer and dementia in previous studies. Moreover, even healthy brains benefit from language learning as studies found the test persons’ brains to be better at attention, memory and multitasking.