Patients who spoke only Spanish had worse neurological outcomes three months after a stroke than those who spoke only English or were bilingual.
(updated at 1:09 pm)
According to a study published in the scientific journal neurology last Wednesday (12), the language that a person speaks can affect the recovery of a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA). The article suggests that someone bilingual recovers better than someone who speaks only one language.
The study was done with Mexican-Americans, comparing those who speak Spanish and English and those who speak only Spanish. The researchers’ theory is that the way languages shape our brains may be far more important than popular belief.
The researchers studied the recoveries of 1,096 patients, three months after the stroke, and then compared their results in three areas: neurological (which involves muscle strength, speech and coordination), thinking and memory skills, and the ability to carry out daily tasks.
Patients who spoke only Spanish had worse neurological outcomes three months after a stroke than those who spoke only English or were bilingual. There were no significant differences in the other two measures, but the neurological gap was substantial.
The group itself recognizes that there may be some unidentified difference, such as income. Furthermore, Spanish and English are more similar to each other than Arabic and German; therefore, if the difference really relates to language-induced brain changes, there is potential for even greater variation among those with other native languages.
language and brain
Previously, a study pointed out that the native language can directly influence the connections of the brain. At the time, scientists explained that, although the language network grows and becomes one of the strongest in the brain, the connections at birth are weak, and as we learn to speak, the bonds strengthen between the brain regions responsible for recognize words from sounds and interpret the meaning of sentences.
Source: Neurology via IFL Science
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