Health. The speed at which you speak indicates whether your brain is doing well (or not)

Health.  The speed at which you speak indicates whether your brain is doing well (or not)


Can the speed at which you speak give information about the health of your brain? Yes, according to a news study published by researchers from Baycrest and the University of Toronto. Which could have an impact on the detection of diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

According to scientists, our speech rate, and more precisely its slowing down, is even more indicative of a problem than our difficulty finding our words.

Speech speed, unexpected result

To obtain these results, 125 people aged 18 to 90 in “good health” took part in three tests: they were shown a photo of an object, which they had to name while hearing static words in their headphones; they had to describe a complex image orally for one minute; finally they were subjected to standard tests on the ease of handling conflicting information, staying focused and avoiding distractions.

Unsurprisingly, the older the people were, the worse the results were. However, the study shows that the most worrying signs are not the ability to quickly name an object or the propensity to pause to find words – a “normal” effect with age – but rather the speed at which which the participants were talking about.

Better detect certain diseases

For researchers, this discovery could have a significant impact on the way certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, are detected. And thus slow down their progress as much as possible. “Speech speed should be part of standard cognitive tests to allow doctors to detect decline more quickly,” recommends Dr. Jed A. Meltzer, co-author of the study. And added: “These tests would help adults monitor the health of their brain. »

The scientists will now set about continuing this research on a test group, but this time over several years. This would allow these results to be confirmed. However, there’s no point in training yourself to speak faster: there’s no evidence that it improves anything in our brain.


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