According to the Baltimore Study on Aging, personality traits can help predict the risk of dementia, which affects millions of people in old age. The study involved about 3000 people.
Scientists have identified 5 personality traits for their study. Among them:
- conscientiousness – a responsible, attentive, purposeful, organized person.
- benevolence – a compassionate, trusting, respectful person who tries to avoid problems.
- neuroticism – an anxious, depressed person who gets upset easily.
- openness – a creative and open-minded person.
- extraversion – an active and very sociable person who attracts the attention of other people.
The results of the study showed that personality traits such as neuroticism are associated with an increased risk of protein accumulation, which causes memory loss. However, the presence of such a trait as conscientiousness reduces the risk of morbidity.
“The studies have looked at other personality traits such as openness and extroversion, but neuroticism and conscientiousness have the strongest relationship, according to recent meta-analyzes. For example, very conscientious people have been shown to lead healthier lifestyles – in terms of physical activity, smoking, sleep, depression, cognitive stimulation – than less conscientious people. ” – said Dr. Claire Sexton, director of science programs and advocacy at the Alzheimer’s Association.
According to Dr. Antonio Terracciano, professor of geriatrics at Florida State University, neuroticism shapes our emotional part of life, the way we deal with stress and our feelings. Conscientiousness is defined by our level of self-control, persistence and thoughtful approach.
“This study confirms the relationship between personality types, lifestyle choices and the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease, however, there is no direct evidence that personality differences affect the disease process. Dementia is a condition that is caused by complex physical changes in the brain and depends not only on your personality, but also on genetics and other factors, ” – commented Dr. James Connell, Head of Translational Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The study’s findings were supported by a review of twelve existing studies that examined the relationship between personality traits and dementia.
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