Bilingualism Linked to Better Cognitive Outcome After Stroke

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Bilingualism Linked to Better Cognitive Outcome After Stroke
Bilingualism Linked to Better Cognitive Outcome After Stroke

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Bilingualism is associated with better cognitive outcome after ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Stroke.

Suvarna Alladi, D.M., from Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, and colleagues examined data from 608 patients with ischemic stroke from a large stroke registry. The role of bilingualism in predicting cognitive impairment after stroke, in the absence of dementia, was examined.

The researchers found that the proportion of patients with normal cognition was higher among bilingual versus monolingual patients (40.5 versus 19.6 percent; P < 0.0001); the reverse was seen in patients with cognitive impairment, including vascular dementia and vascular mild cognitive impairment (77.7 versus 49.0 percent for monolingual versus bilingual patients; P < 0.0009). The frequency of aphasia did not differ between the groups (11.8 versus 10.5 percent for monolingual versus bilingual patients; P = 0.354). Bilingualism independently predicted cognitive outcome after stroke.

"Our results suggest that bilingualism leads to a better cognitive outcome after stroke, possibly by enhancing cognitive reserve," the authors write.

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