Second language learning induces grey matter volume increase

Second language learning induces grey matter volume increase in people with multiple sclerosis.

Grey matter volume (GMV) decline is a frequent finding in multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common chronic neurological disease in young adults. Increases of GMV were detected in language related brain regions following second language (L2) learning in healthy adults. Effects of L2 learning in people with MS (pwMS) have not been investigated so far.

This study prospectively evaluated the potential of an eight-week L2 training on grey matter plasticity measured by 3T-MRI, L2 proficiency and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in people with relapsing-remitting MS (pwMS, n = 11) and healthy, sex- and age-matched controls (HCs; n = 12).

They demonstrate distinct patterns of GMV increases of language related brain regions in pwMS and HCs and indicate disease-related compensatory cortical and subcortical plasticity to acquire L2 proficiency in pwMS.