Language and the brain in the sunset years

Authored by: William S-Y. Wang

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Applied Linguistics

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138650732
eBook ISBN: 9781315625157
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will provide an overview of language in the sunset years of life by discussing various views of ageing and inevitable cognitive decline as neurons die and the brain loses its ability to regenerate neural circuits. The chapter will also review global literature on the brain in ageing and dementia, especially mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), based primarily on Western research. The chapter will further discuss these issues with respect to the cultures and languages of Greater China, of which much less is known. There has been some consensus on the relevant genes and the molecular bases for learning and remembering, especially with respect to critical periods. Finally, the chapter will conclude with a discussion of current efforts in early diagnosis and intervention.

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