People who speak two languages may be able to ward off dementia for years, regardless of whether they have the ability to read or not, according to a study Wednesday.
The study in the U.S. journal Neurology is the first of its kind to show that the protective effects of bilingualism can extend to people who are illiterate.
The researchers looked at a population of 648 people in India. All had been diagnosed with some form of dementia. Their average age was 66.
When analyzing the data, they found that those who spoke two languages developed dementia about four and a half years later than those who spoke just one language.
The differences persisted whether they were able to read or not. Fourteen percent of those in the study were illiterate.
The later onset of memory loss, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, was also seen regardless of factors such as education, gender, occupation and rural or city residency.
“Our study is the first to report an advantage of speaking two languages in people who are unable to read,” said study author Suvarna Alladi, with Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India.
This suggests “that a person’s level of education is not a sufficient explanation for this difference,” she said.
“Speaking more than one language is thought to lead to better development of the areas of the brain that handle executive functions and attention tasks, which may help protect from the onset of dementia.”
There was no additional protective effect against dementia among people in the study who spoke more than two languages, said the study.
Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.
The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.
It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.
Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.
"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."
Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.
White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."
Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.
Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.