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Bilingualism and cognitive decline : a story of pride and prejudice

Evy Woumans UGent, Jan Versijpt, Anne Sieben UGent, Patrick Santens UGent and Wouter Duyck UGent (2017) JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE . 60(4). p.1237-1239
abstract
In a recent review, Mukadam, Sommerlad, and Livingston (2017) argue that bilingualism offers no protection against cognitive decline. The authors examined the results of 13 studies (five prospective, eight retrospective) in which monolinguals and bilinguals were compared for cognitive decline and onset of dementia symptoms. Analysis of four of the five prospective studies resulted in the conclusion that there was no difference between monolinguals and bilinguals, whereas seven of the eight retrospective studies actually showed bilingualism to result in a four-to-five year delay of symptom onset. The authors decided to ignore the results from the retrospective studies in favor of those from the prospective studies, reasoning that the former may be confounded by participants' cultural background and education levels. In this commentary, we argue that most of these studies actually controlled for these two variables and still found a positive effect of bilingualism. Furthermore, we argue that the meta-analysis of the prospective studies is not complete, lacking the results of two crucial reports. We conclude that the literature offers substantial evidence for a bilingual effect on the development of cognitive decline and dementia.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
misc (editorialMaterial)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Cognitive decline, dementia, multilingualism, prospective cohort studies, retrospective studies, ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE, DEMENTIA, ONSET, DELAYS, AGE, COMMUNITY, DIAGNOSIS, RESERVE, RISK
in
JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
J. Alzheimers Dis.
volume
60
issue
4
pages
1237 - 1239
Web of Science type
Editorial Material
Web of Science id
000414612200004
ISSN
1387-2877
DOI
10.3233/JAD-170759
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
V
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8530947
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8530947
date created
2017-09-12 08:54:20
date last changed
2018-04-23 11:08:28
@misc{8530947,
  abstract     = {In a recent review, Mukadam, Sommerlad, and Livingston (2017) argue that bilingualism offers no protection against cognitive decline. The authors examined the results of 13 studies (five prospective, eight retrospective) in which monolinguals and bilinguals were compared for cognitive decline and onset of dementia symptoms. Analysis of four of the five prospective studies resulted in the conclusion that there was no difference between monolinguals and bilinguals, whereas seven of the eight retrospective studies actually showed bilingualism to result in a four-to-five year delay of symptom onset. The authors decided to ignore the results from the retrospective studies in favor of those from the prospective studies, reasoning that the former may be confounded by participants' cultural background and education levels. In this commentary, we argue that most of these studies actually controlled for these two variables and still found a positive effect of bilingualism. Furthermore, we argue that the meta-analysis of the prospective studies is not complete, lacking the results of two crucial reports. We conclude that the literature offers substantial evidence for a bilingual effect on the development of cognitive decline and dementia.},
  author       = {Woumans, Evy and Versijpt, Jan and Sieben, Anne and Santens, Patrick and Duyck, Wouter},
  issn         = {1387-2877},
  keyword      = {Cognitive decline,dementia,multilingualism,prospective cohort studies,retrospective studies,ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE,DEMENTIA,ONSET,DELAYS,AGE,COMMUNITY,DIAGNOSIS,RESERVE,RISK},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1237--1239},
  series       = {JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE                                        },
  title        = {Bilingualism and cognitive decline : a story of pride and prejudice},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-170759},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2017},
}

Chicago
Woumans, Evy, Jan Versijpt, Anne Sieben, Patrick Santens, and Wouter Duyck. 2017. “Bilingualism and Cognitive Decline : a Story of Pride and Prejudice.” Journal of Alzheimers Disease  .
APA
Woumans, E., Versijpt, J., Sieben, A., Santens, P., & Duyck, W. (2017). Bilingualism and cognitive decline : a story of pride and prejudice. JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE  .
Vancouver
1.
Woumans E, Versijpt J, Sieben A, Santens P, Duyck W. Bilingualism and cognitive decline : a story of pride and prejudice. JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE  . 2017. p. 1237–9.
MLA
Woumans, Evy, Jan Versijpt, Anne Sieben, et al. “Bilingualism and Cognitive Decline : a Story of Pride and Prejudice.” JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE  2017 : 1237–1239. Print.