Being bilingual may delay dementia

People who speak more than one language and who develop dementia tend to do so on average 4.5 years later than those who are monolingual, a new study has found writes .

The study, published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, observed the same delay in illiterate patients, indicating education isn’t an explanation for the differences.

 Researchers examined almost 650 dementia patients and found those who spoke two or more languages showed later onset of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia.

The benefit doesn’t extend beyond speaking two languages however, meaning speaking three or more languages doesn’t appear to further delay the onset of dementia.

The study was conducted by the University of Edinburgh and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India. This region of India is home to multiple languages, which Barbara J. King, writing for NPR, believes adds extra credibility to the results.

In the Hyderabad region there are two dominant languages, Urdu and Telugu. Hindi and English are also routinely spoken, especially at school. So people raised in Hyderabad are often bilingual, with exposure to a third, sometimes fourth, language.

This impacts on the results as the researchers explained, “In contrast to previous studies, the bilingual group was drawn from the same environment as the monolingual one and the results were therefore free from the confounding effects of immigration.”

This study is the largest to look at the bilingual effect on dementia, independent of education, sex, occupation, cardiovascular risk factors, and urban vs rural dwelling, all of which have been investigated in the past as potential factors affecting the onset of dementia.

Further research is needed to determine the mechanism which is delaying dementia, say the study authors. They suggested bilingual switching between different sounds, words, concepts, grammatical structures and social norms constituted a form of natural brain training.

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Essential Items for Women to Stay Healthy on the Road

Whether you are planning a two week vacation or a three month backpacking sojourn, packing items to maintain your health and hygiene on the road should be your first priority. Trust me, falling sick on the road without the correct remedies will put a real dampener on your holiday! We have put together a handy list of the nine essential items that should be in your luggage before you hit the road:

1. Hand sanitizer

Maintaining high levels of personal hygiene is really important when travelling, and one of the best ways to do that is to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to wash your hands as often as you would at home and so this way you’ll at least know you have clean hands even when you can’t wash them. You can even pick up travel-friendly bottles of sanitizer so you don’t have to worry about packing a big bulky bottle – bonus!

2. High SPF sunscreen

Unfortunately, there are too many ladies out there that pack a low SPF sunscreen in the hope that they will get a tan quicker; this is not the case! The only thing that will happen if your sunscreen does not have a high enough SPF factor is you will get burnt, and it doesn’t look pretty, not to mention it has some serious consequences to your health!

3. Sterile first aid kit

It’s really important to take a comprehensive first aid kit with you. I would advise to take a first aid kit which comes with a syringe and needle so if you do need hospital treatment, you are safe in the knowledge that you have sterile equipment with you.

4. Women’s multi-vitamins

Our diet can be dramatically different when we travel, and therefore it can have a negative effect on our health. A great way to ensure that you are still getting essential nutrients is by packing a small bottle of women’s multi-vitamins.

5. Re-hydration sachets

Unfortunately, it can be quite common to contract a stomach bug when traveling. In order to combat this, one of the best products that you can take with you is rehydration sachets – these will restore your body’s salt and fluid balance; I don’t know what I would have done without these when I got sick in Thailand!

6. Fit kit

The fit kit is especially useful on longer vacations and backpacking trips; many women – myself included, do worry about their fitness levels when away from the routine of going to the gym. A great way to maintain your fitness levels is to take a FitKit with you – this has been specially designed for those that travel and so the contents come is a super small case that is the equivalent of a sunglasses case. The FitKit is basically a portable gym – it comes with a resistance tube, a jump rope, pedometer, resistance band and reflective arm band.

7. Bug spray

I never travel without a high impact bug spray – mosquitoes seem to absolutely love me, much to my annoyance! Not only is it dangerous to get bitten due to the risks of malaria and dengue fever, but bites also look so unsightly – especially if they get as big and swollen as they do on me! The bug spray that I use is one that has a high level of DEET – DEET is highly regarded as the best ingredient to prevent mosquitoes.

Before you use a DEET based product I would highly recommend doing a patch test first to see if DEET is compatible with your skin, and also seek the guidance of your doctor for the best ways to prevent getting bitten. If you are heading to an area where malaria is particularly prevalent then you will also want to pack a mosquito net and anti-malarial medication.

8. Funky sun hat

A lot of people don’t realize it, but dehydration and sun stroke are big risk factors when on the road! A fabulous (and stylish) way to minimize this risk is to pack a sun hat and wear it whenever you are out in direct sunlight. The great news is that there are some super stylish sun hat options out there so you don’t need to worry about looking ridiculous! My personal favorite is a cute straw hat with a brightly colored ribbon – there are also packable straw hat options on the market nowadays so you don’t need to worry about it getting squashed in your luggage.

9. Shewee

I’ll be the first person to admit that the bathroom facilities in many places overseas are not up to the same standard as they are at home. The best way to avoid having to sit on a filthy toilet and run the risk of contracting germs is to carry a shewee with you.

A shewee is a contraption that allows you to wee whilst standing up, so no matter how grimy the toilet is, your skin need never touch it! Having the shewee also means being able to go to the toilet outside (often more preferable than being stuck in a stinky loo) and you can stand up – much better than trying to find a spot to crouch down!

Guest Author: Emma Spires Emma is a keen traveller who has been on the road for a decade. In between sojourns she spends her time on the hunt for innovative ladies travel products to review for her site Ladies With Luggage with the aim of helping her readers have a more fun, safe and comfortable trip. She also loves to write specialised female travel packing lists – everything from a romantic weekend away to long term backpacking trips.

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Healthy International Recipe: Bangers and Mash

Bangers&MashA hallmark of classic British food, bangers and mash have taken a turn for the upscale in recent years. But taking this famous meal out of the pub and into the fancy restaurant doesn’t make it any healthier.

Usually made with copious amounts of butter, fatty sausage, and rich gravy, traditionally prepared bangers and mash will leave you with a bellyache and in need of a nap.

This lighter, fresher version scrimps on neither flavour nor satisfaction, and makes for a comforting and nourishing meal. Leaving the skin on the potatoes adds a healthy does of fiber, and swapping Greek yogurt for butter gives the potatoes and mushy peas a pleasing tangy flavor.

When choosing a sausage, look for a leaner variety made with chicken or turkey rather than pork to keep the over all fat and calorie count low.


  • 2 lbs yellow creamer potatoes
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, divided
  • 4 lean chicken sausages
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 4 sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring up to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Mince two of the garlic cloves, and add during the last few minutes of cooking. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Mash with ½ cup Greek yogurt, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm and set aside.
  3. On a sheet pan, toss the pearl onions with a splash of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and tender.
  4. While the onions are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, and mince 2 of the garlic cloves, adding them to the pan.
  5. Add the sage leaves to the hot oil, and fry on each side, perfuming the oil.  Remove the sage leaves, and add the sausages to the pan, and cook, turning often, until browned all over.
  6. Add the sausages to the pan in the oven with the onions, and toss everything together. Allow it to roast for 6-8 minutes.
  7. To make the mushy peas, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat, and add the frozen peas. Cook for 6-8 minutes until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper, and add 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt once the peas have finished cooking. Mash with a potato masher until you have a slightly creamy texture.
  8. Serve the potatoes on a plate with the sausage sliced in half on top, with the peas and onions on the side. Garnish with a sage leaf if desired.

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European Airports Plan to End Liquid Bans

First the U.S. decides to ease its restrictions on the use of electronics during flights. Now the European Union announces it plans to lift the ban on liquids over 3.4 ounces on commercial flights reports the

Yes, it’s been a great couple of weeks for frequent flyers.

While the travel-sized product industry may take a bit of a hit, those traveling in Europe will be relieved to know they can start bringing certain liquids, aerosols, and gels onto planes starting January 2014.

But this doesn’t mean the EU has completely abandoned its security concerns. A new screening device, known as the LS10 that tests liquids for potential explosives will be installed in all European airports. The device, which was developed by the Ohio-based research and development organization Battelle, uses radio frequency waves and ultrasonic pulses to assess all liquids brought by passengers. Handy right? The machine is also pretty fast too—it should only take up to five seconds to scan a container.

While this device will be mandatory in all European airports next year, London’s Heathrow will be the first to begin using it come January.

So does this mean Americans should expect the U.S. to follow suit and loosen up its on-flight liquid restrictions too?

According to the TSA, they shouldn’t get their hopes up.

ALC Health Director to be keynote speaker at Association of International Medical Insurance Providers (AIMIP) conference

AWAALC Health’s Sales & Marketing Director, Andrew Apps will be a keynote speaker at both the North (Manchester, 21st November) and South (London, 19th November) AIMIP (association of international medical insurance providers) conferences being held this week in the UK.

US FAA Chills Out on In-Flight Devices

For frequent fliers, the announcement from the FAA ranks right up there with the greatest pronouncements in the history of man – soon, you won’t have to power down your devices as your plane takes off or lands. Yes!



This week, the Federal Aviation Administration released new rules expanding the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) on planes. The change lifts the ban on use during takeoff and landing. You’ll now be able to read your tablet, listen to your music and play your games whenever you’re on the plane, whether it’s on the ground or in the air writes John Miller

You still can’t send email or text messages from your mobile phone.

As someone who reads books on an iPad, I’m happy. No, this isn’t life altering, but it always felt silly to stop reading for 20 minutes, just cuz. I figured it was their way of getting me to browse SkyMall.

Managing Common Health Risks Around the World

We’ve all been there before. It’s day two of your trip and you have horrible food poisoning. Or you’re lobster red after the first day at the beach. As much as we plan a trip down to the last detail, we must also accept that sometimes things end up going down the tubes reports the

While you can’t always avoid illness or injury, you can take extra safety precautions while traveling. While some health concerns are more serious than others, here are the most common ones that occur among travelers:

Gastrointestinal Problems: Affecting 20 to 60 percent of travelers, digestive issues are most common in countries where food and water hygiene are important, such as Mexico. Prior to your trip, be sure to research the local water and food safety. Contaminated water often causes traveler’s diarrhea and it can also spread diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A, and typhoid. Check to see if tap water is unsafe for drinking. Otherwise, play it safe with boiled, bottled, or chemically purified or filtered water. You should also avoid adding ice to your drinks, brushing your teeth with tap water, and even certain foods that may be contaminated, such as salads, raw fruits and veggies, and street food.

Insect Bite-Related Health Issues: Mosquitoes, flies, lice, bed bugs, and mites are all capable of spreading diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, typhus, and Lyme disease. To prevent potentially harmful bug bites, stay in an accommodation that’s air-conditioned (if possible). To keep bugs out of your room, use a bed net and hang mesh screens on doors and windows. When outside, wear insect repellent and light colored, loose fitting clothes to deter bugs. Be sure to cover up at night, since that is when mosquitoes carrying malaria are most active.

Accidents and Injuries: The best way to prevent accidents and injuries is to use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Read up on the local road and transportation safety, avoid traveling alone, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Yes, this is an extremely common health risk among travelers, for, well, obvious reasons. The best way to avoid STIs? Use a condom or practice abstinence while you’re away.

Sunburn: Practice general sun safety to prevent sunburn from ruining your trip. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 and re-apply every two hours. Try to stay out of the sun during the middle of the day and be sure to wear a hat and light colored, loose fitting clothing.

To further protect yourself from health risks, pay a preventative visit to your doctor for any required vaccinations and/or medications, such as malaria pills.

It’s true : You can’t live without your smartphone.

We know this to be the case. And when you’re preparing for a trip abroad, you need to consider the importance of your phone in your life.

When you’re traveling, your phone becomes an indispensable information source. At USA Today, Caroline Costello offers up some critical tips on prepping your smartphone for your trip.

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Airport Tension and five things to do before you leave

Arriving at your destination is wonderful. When you’re traveling and visiting a new place, getting your boots on the ground is a moment filled with excitement and relief. Getting there, however, can be hell. Traveling, and especially traveling abroad, is often fraught with worry, tension and inconvenience. From rushing to the airport to standing in the security lines to the physical discomfort of flying, it can be a drag. But the Internet offered up plenty of help this week. It begins with leaving your house and heading to the airport, which is often a moment when people wonder about whether or not they left the iron plugged in.

To help ease your concern, Jaunted provides a checklist of five things to do before you leave for the airport. And Huffington Post’s Suzy Strutner talks to Martha Stewart to get her secrets for packing for a trip.

Once you arrive at the airport, you’re standing in line – you can’t move, but you have anxiety about getting to your gate in time. You know what would help? Soothing lighting and comfortable couches. And a couple of airports are delivering. The Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney reports on the transformation of security lines into a place where you feel like you might want to hang out for a while.

If you’re worried about the physical effects of the TSA’s full body scanners, or perhaps just modest, USA Today’s Chris Elliot tells you how to opt out of the full body scan. Of course, the tension often continues when you get onto the plane and a free-for-all breaks out over the overhead bins. The New York Times’ Martha White reports that one way to circumvent the battle for bins is to pay a little more – the airlines will gladly give preferential treatment to people who pay more.

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Hope at last for Malaria sufferers

In the developing world, malaria is a huge problem – 660,000 people die each from malaria and travelers know the need to get malaria shots before some trips. But here’s some good news on the battle against malaria – a new vaccine currently in clinical trials seems very promising; Medical News Today reports the World Health Organization is excited about the vaccine can protect young children for up to 18 months after being vaccinated.

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