Those who speak two languages are twice as likely to recover from a stroke than people who only speak one, according to a recent study. A study published in the scientific journal Stroke examined 608 stroke patients in India. About half of the sample had only one language, while the other half spoke at least two languages fluently.
“But after some time, about 40 per cent of those who spoke more than one language didn’t have any cognitive problems, but only 20 per cent from monolinguists [people who speak one language] recovered fully,” said Dr Thomas Bak, co-author of the research.
All of those used in the study had suffered the same strength stroke. The study noted that being bilingual won’t reduce the risk of stroke. “For people who have active mental lives with a lot of mental activities or challenging occupations intellectually, the brain is, in a way, fitter. It’s stronger.”
It is mentioned that learning another language is only one way to keep the brain healthy. Dr Bak mentioned that the patients in the study were not necessarily bilingual from a young age and many would have picked up their languages passively through life experience. Dr Bak said there is a need to replicate his study in other populations.