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Views And Reviews

Language lessons to help protect against dementia

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 19 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5039
  1. Thomas Bak, doctor and reader in human cognitive neuroscience
  1. Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh, UK
  1. thomas.bak{at}

Bilingual people tend to show slower cognitive ageing, writes Thomas Bak

Hardly a month passes without media reports of new wonder drugs offering glimmers of hope to patients with dementia. Unfortunately, most of these stories are misleading: as with internet scams (lottery wins, free iPads, or miraculous princes offering their inheritance), if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Words such as “breakthrough” or “game changer” can serve as red flags. Given the modest progress in drug treatments for dementia, much interest has turned to factors that may either accelerate or delay its occurrence. Physical and mental activities have been associated with a later onset of dementia, and a recent study suggests that changes …

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