A study has discovered that people who are bilingual can delay the onset of dementia diseases by 4.5 years compared to people who only speak one language. Just another excuse to keep watching foreign language dramas on DramaFever (as if we needed any)!

The study was jointly conducted by scientists from India and the United Kingdom and found that even people who are illiterate but are bilingual can also delay the onset of dementia including the type caused by Alzheimer's disease. However, there is no additional benefit to speaking more than 2 languages.

The beneficial advantage of being bilingual is shown by the study to independently affect the delay in dementia regardless of other factors such as education, sex, and occupation.

Dr. Thomas Bak of the University of Edinburgh, a co-author of the study, says, "Bilingualism can be seen as a successful brain training, contributing to cognitive reserve, which can help delay dementia." Cognitive reserve is the ability of the brain to keep functioning normally despite significant disease or injury.

Furthermore, Dr. Bak thinks it's never too late to learn another language in order to get the benefit from it cognitively to some degree. He compares speaking two languages to swimming as a superb workout for the brain.

The study's result was published in a recent issue of the journal Neurology. Dr. Thomas Bak was elected president of the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Aphasia and Cognitive Disorders (RGACD). Within this group, he established the "Cognitive Clinics Worldwide" initiative and has been organizing courses in cognitive neurology in India, China and South America.