Speaking more than one language might slow the onset of dementia — studies show that those who speak at least two languages generally have at least four more dementia-free years than their monolingual peers.
More facts about dementia:
- More than 24 million people have dementia worldwide, and that number is expected to increase to about 85 million by 2040. Diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, jumped more than 45 percent between 2000 and 2006.
- Dementia is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. More than one-eighth of all people age 65 or older in the U.S. have dementia — and more than half of those older than 85 have it.
- Women are more likely than men to get dementia — in the United Kingdom, two-thirds of those with dementia are women. In the U.S., one in six women is likely to be diagnosed with dementia during her lifetime.