Increasing Brain Size through Intensive Language Study

A study done in Sweden suggests that intensive language study might increase brain size:

At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy in the city of Uppsala, young people with a flair for languages go from having no knowledge of a language such as Arabic, Russian or Dari to speaking it fluently in the space of 13 months. From morning to evening, weekdays and weekends, the recruits study at a pace unlike on any other language course.

…While the brain structure of the control group remained unchanged, specific parts of the brain of the language students grew. The parts that developed in size were the hippocampus, a deep-lying brain structure that is involved in learning new material and spatial navigation, and three areas in the cerebral cortex.

The article also mentions that multilingualism may be related to a later onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fluency in 13 months is impressive, especially with Russian. Has anyone every achieved results like that when learning a language before?

Brain (pd)