Aging in two languages: Implications for public health

Ellen Bialystok, Jubin Abutalebi, Thomas H. Bak, Deborah M. Burke, Judith F. Kroll

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the population aging and a dramatic increase in the number of senior citizens, public health systems will be increasingly burdened with the need to deal with the care and treatment of individuals with dementia. We review evidence demonstrating how a particular experience, bilingualism, has been shown to protect cognitive function in older age and delay onset of symptoms of dementia. This paper describes behavioral and brain studies that have compared monolingual and bilingual older adults on measures of cognitive function or brain structure and reviews evidence demonstrating a protective effect of bilingualism against symptoms of dementia. We conclude by presenting some data showing the potential savings in both human costs in terms of demented patients and economic considerations in terms of public money if symptoms of dementia could be postponed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016

Fingerprint

Public health
Dementia
Brain
Language
Public Health
Aging of materials
Multilingualism
Cognition
Economics
Age of Onset
Costs
Costs and Cost Analysis
Population
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Bilingualism
  • Cognitive aging
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Dementia
  • Neuroplasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology

Cite this

Aging in two languages : Implications for public health. / Bialystok, Ellen; Abutalebi, Jubin; Bak, Thomas H.; Burke, Deborah M.; Kroll, Judith F.

In: Ageing Research Reviews, Vol. 27, 01.05.2016, p. 56-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Bialystok, Ellen ; Abutalebi, Jubin ; Bak, Thomas H. ; Burke, Deborah M. ; Kroll, Judith F. / Aging in two languages : Implications for public health. In: Ageing Research Reviews. 2016 ; Vol. 27. pp. 56-60.
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