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English Detective #36, New Hope for Alzheimer’s, Apr.8, 2014
April 08, 2014
Your First Clue: Vocabulary Emphasized in this Issue
New: Alzheimer’s (see introduction), bilingual, dementia, electrodes, shrink, stimulation.
A few notes about the new vocabulary:
As you probably already know, to be bilingual means to be able to speak two languages fluently (well). Monolingual people can speak only one, and multilingual people speak many languages. (Bi-, mono-, and multi- are among the many prefixes on the List of Prefixes.)
Dementia is a group of mental disorders usually caused by damage to areas of the brain. Most forms of dementia occur after middle age and become more common with increasing age. Dementia usually involves forgetfulness and slower mental processes. Some dementias can also cause personality changes and major limitations in daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most serious (and common) dementias.
Electrodes are conductors of electricity. Researchers can attach electrodes to (or inside) the skull and use them to carry electrical impulses to stimulate particular areas of the brain.
To shrink means to get smaller. Alzheimer’s can cause shrinkage of brain tissue.
Stimulation means doing something that encourages action or an increase in activity. Reading or puzzles stimulate the mind; electrical impulses stimulate nerves.
Getting the whole story: reading practice:
Click here for the BBC article on deep brain stimulation to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Here’s the news report on how being bilingual delays Alzheimer’s.
Follow the Clues (Vocabulary Practice):
Click here for the online neuroscience crossword.
Word Family Investigator
EnglishHints now has a new index page for the Latin and Greek roots most useful for understanding common English words. It links to practice and explanations for over 100 roots, as well as to general-use prefixes and suffixes.
That page (Greek and Latin Root Words) also gives hints on how to find the root within a long word by removing common prefixes and suffixes. (So the root of ‘demobilize’ is ‘mobile,’ and the root of ‘extractible’ is ‘tract.’)
A note if you get gmail: Have you missed any issues of English Detective? if you find English Detective in your Promotions box, you can move it to your Primary box (if you want) by clicking on it and dragging it there, then clicking Yes when asked if you want to always get it in the Primary box.
Coming in the next issue: Looking at Leadership.
In case you missed these: Earlier issues of English Detective have articles on a number of topics, plus practice with all 570 words from the Academic Word List. You can check them out with the link to the back issues page below (or find what words were practiced each issue here.
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