Research in the abbey: language skills reduce the risk of Alzheimer's

Nuns who speak four or more foreign languages were much less at risk of developing senile dementia than those who did not develop the poliglot ability. This was proved by specialists of the University of Waterloo (Canada).

Scientists assessed the state of mental abilities of 325 Roman Catholic nuns From the school of the sisters of Notre Dame. The study is of particular interest, as its participants  lead similar lifestyles for a long time and live in the same conditions, which eliminates the side effects of environmental factors that can distort the results of other studies. 

It turned out that Alzheimer's disease has developed in only 6% of nuns who speak 4 or more languages, while sisters who speak 3 or less languages were affected by the disease in 31% of cases. According to the authors of the study, the investigation of foreign languages and their application is an effective load on the brain, allowing to prevent changes leading to dementia. 

Also in the course of this study, experts have studied the relationship of such factors as the density of thoughts in a written text: they studied the test tasks performed by 106 nuns and compared them with data from other studies. It turned out that the more thoughts a person can fit into a smaller volume of text, the lower is his risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. 

Sept. 17, 2019, 11 a.m.

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