CE Workshop 02: Bi/Multilingualism and its Impact on Stroke/Neurodegenerative Disease

Course Date: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Course Time: 09:00 - 12:00 (09:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s) Suvarna Alladi

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

Suvarna Alladi, 

Professor, Dept of Neurology

NIMHANS, Bangalore, India

Credit Hours: 3.0

Level of Instruction: Intermediate

CE Workshop 02: Bi/Multilingualism and its Impact on Stroke/Neurodegenerative Disease

Abstract & Learning Objectives:

Modifying risk factors by using effective cognitive strategies across the life-course may prevent or delay up to 40% of dementias through enhancing reserve/resilience. Reserve/Resilience is an emerging concept and refers to the ability of the brain to cope with neuropathology and neurodegeneration. Emerging evidence suggests that bi/multilingualism is associated with cognitive advantages and improves resilience against dementia, stroke and other cognitive disorders. Seven thousand languages are spoken across the world and speaking a second/third or more languages is a natural phenomenon. Further, with globalization, societies are becoming increasingly linguistically diverse and half of the world’s population is bi/multilingual. Exploring beneficial effects of bi/multilingualism will have an impact on dementia risk reduction and recovery from brain injury. Bi/Multilingualism has been demonstrated to delay age at onset of dementia and also improve cognitive and language recovery after stroke. Advantages to executive function are thought to underlie its beneficial effects. Cortical morphometric, white matter connectivity and functional brain changes in bilinguals represent the neural basis for its effect on cognitive reserve/resilience. In this presentation, insights from studies that have explored the role of bi/multilingualism in impacting cognitive resilience against dementia and stroke will be discussed in the context of global research. 

Upon conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:

1. Describe the impact of bilingualism on age at onset and cognitive manifestations of dementia and stroke

2. Discuss the mechanisms that underlie the potentially protective effects of bilingualism in dementia and stroke

3. Describe the role of bi/multilingualism on cognitive reserve/resilience in disorders of the brain

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Suvarna Alladi is a Professor of Neurology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India. Dr. Alladi's research focuses on studying dementia in the context of linguistic and educational diversity that characterizes India. Dr. Alladi coordinated a large multicentric national study that adapted cognitive tests for different Indian languages. Her research group investigates the complex influence of life-course experiences especially bilingualism and education on development of resilience against cognitive impairment due to neurodegeneration and stroke.  Dr. Alladi also represents priorities of diverse societies in international platforms and is Chair and member of several national and international advisory groups for dementia and brain health.