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Brush Up on Your High School Spanish, or French, or German
A study from the Rotman Research Institute found that bilingual Alzheimer's patients began experiencing symptoms of the disease five years later than patients who spoke only one language. "When you think in two languages, your brain cells may be working twice as hard," explains Small. "And the more often you fire up those neurons, the stronger they get." But it's use it or lose it: "If these connections aren't reinforced regularly—as in the case of a neglected foreign language you learned decades ago—they fade," says Neal Barnard, MD, an adjunct associate professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.