People with superior language skills early in life may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease decades later, research suggests.
A team from Johns Hopkins University studied the brains of 38 Catholic nuns after death. They found those with good language skills early in life were less likely to have memory problems – even if their brains showed signs of dementia damage.
The study appears online in the journal Neurology.
Dementia is linked to the formation of protein plaques and nerve cell tangles in the brain. But scientists remain puzzled about why these signs of damage produce dementia symptoms in some people, but not others.
They divided the women into those with memory problems and signs of dementia damage in the brain, and those whose memory was unaffected regardless of whether or not they showed signs of dementia damage.
And they also analysed essays that 14 of the women wrote as they entered the convent in their late teens or early 20s, assessing them for complexity of language and grammar. The study showed that language scores were 20% higher in women without memory problems than those with signs of a malfunctioning memory.
superior：形容詞，更好的。例句：She was chosen for the job because she was the superior candidate.（她拿到了這份工作，因為她條件比較好。）
tangle：動詞，糾結。tangled為形容詞，指糾結的，混亂的。a tangled jungle（密林）。
malfunction：動詞／名詞，故障。例句：Shortly before the crash the pilot had reported a malfunction of the aircraft’s navigation system.（墜機前不久機長曾通報飛機導航系統故障。）