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Wrong Brian Gold?

Dr. Brian T. Gold

Associate Editor

University of Kentucky College of Medicine

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University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Background Information

Employment History

Associate Professor

University of Kentucky

Associate Editor

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Postdoctoral Scholar

Washington University in St. Louis


Carnegie Mellon University



University of Kentucky


University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Web References (63 Total References)

According to Brian Gold, a ... [cached]

According to Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, knowing two languages can reduce the risks of Alzheimer's and postpone dementia.

Brian Gold, ... [cached]

Brian Gold, PhD Associate Editor University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Brian Gold, ... [cached]

Brian Gold, PhD Associate Editor University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Free VOA English: Lifelong Bilingualism Gives Seniors Mental Edge [cached]

Brian Gold was the lead author of the study. Dr. Gold is a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

In the study, the researchers asked people to sort colors and shapes in a series of simple exercises. Dr. Gold and his colleagues used brain imaging to compare how well three groups of people switched among these exercises.
Dr. Gold says knowing a second language made no difference for the young adults. They did better at the exercises than both groups of older people. But he says the older bilingual adults appear to have built up a kind of surplus from a lifetime of increased mental activity.
He says his research confirms a previous study on bilingualism among patients with Alzheimer's, a brain-wasting disease. That study showed that bilingual speakers developed more damage, but were able to think at the same level as patients with less damage.
"This study showed that the bilinguals tended to have more brain atrophy, suggesting, you know, the fact that they're at the same cognitive level, somehow their bilingualism is helping them to compensate for that more brain atrophy. This finding that we have is consistent with that, because it basically says that bilinguals as seniors are able to do more with less."
Dr. Gold says he believes the new study confirms that bilingualism can play a protective role in the brain. He now plans to study whether learning a second language or immigrating to another country as an adult can provide some of the same mental advantages as lifelong bilingualism.

Speaking More Than One Language Could Prevent Alzheimer's [cached]

The latest evidence from the bilingualism-is-good-for-you crew comes from Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington. To test the idea, he had older people who grew up bilingual do an attention-switching task, a skill that typically fades with age. Earlier research has found that people bilingual since childhood are better at the high-order thinking called executive function as they age.

Gold found that his bilingual seniors were better at the task, which had them quickly sorting colors and shapes, than their monolingual peers. He then added an extra dimension by sticking the people's heads in scanners to see what was happening inside their brains.
Gold seldom speaks French now, though he has learned Spanish to talk with his Mexican-born wife and her relatives. His next task is to see if learning a second language in adulthood would give some protective benefit to those of us who missed the chance to be bilingual as children. That, he says, "would be more useful to people."

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