A new study says being bilingual can keep your brain young as you get older. (Sam Edwards/Getty Images)

Being bilingual can keep your brain young, sharp

John Secor, professor of French at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, has been speaking two languages since he was a small boy in Canada.

He’s also a musician and singer and when he’s playing with a group, he finds he’s better able to hear multiple voices and switch beats and parts than some of his monolingual band mates.

“I have noticed this [advantage] in myself compared to others,” said the 57-year-old Secor.

RELATED: Being bilingual improves ear function

New research published Tuesday in The Journal of Neuroscience helps explain why Secor’s mental reactions are so sharp, even in middle age –- the brains of people who are bilingual work more efficiently than people who speak only one language.

Neuroscientists have been accumulating strong evidence that knowing, and constantly using, a second language starting in childhood can significantly delay a decline in brain power. University of Kentucky in Lexington researchers wanted to know why some people’s brains seem protected.

To read the rest of the story go to nbcnews.com

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