Everything Language and Grammar

Better Language Skills Might Mean Less Risk of Dementia

Posted by languageandgrammar on March 27, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Research from an interesting study, the Nun Study, states that more complex grammar when young might mean a lower risk of dementia as an older person. More information can be found on a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog; however, since it’s a premium site, access might be limited.

The nuns were originally being studied because they had never used tobacco or alcohol or had given birth, but during the research, it was discovered that they had written essays during their youth about why they wanted to become nuns in the first place.

These early essays were then studied.

According to the Post-Gazette story above:

Results obtained by testing the cognitive functioning of the surviving nuns (93) and brain examinations of the deceased religious (14) showed low idea density (a simplified definition: how many ideas presented in a sentence divide by sentence’s words) and low grammatical complexity in the early-life essays were associated with dementia in later life!

Interesting, and it seems to support other studies that indicate that more brain activity reduces the potential for dementia later.

Keep the thoughts and words flowing!

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