Comparing Executive Functions in Bilinguals and Monolinguals Suffering From Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosi
Introduction: Executive functions generally refer to cognitive functions involved in the control and regulation of goal-directed behavior also the formation of mental representations. Several factors such as age, task complexity, and bilingualism affect executive functions. There are opposing effects for the role of bilingualism on executive functions. This study aimed to compare executive functions of bilingual patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) with their monolingual counterparts.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 13 bilingual patients with RRMS are compared with 13 monolingual peers. The research instrument included progressive matrices raven test, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and clinical tests of executive functions (continuous performance test, Wechsler memory test and verbal fluency test). The Mann-Whitney test was used as statistical analysis.
Results: The results indicated statistically significant differences between two groups with regard to correct response, error of omission, and commission error. However, there was no difference in the digit span test. Monolinguals in Persian language, however, performed better than bilinguals in all verbal fluency tasks.
Conclusion: Bilingualism promotes cognitive ability and executive functions in nonverbal tasks. Ironically, it seems that the only recorded negative impact of bilingualism are on verbal knowledge and skill.
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