Certain Personality Traits Might Make People More Prone to Alzheimer’s, Study Finds

Certain Personality Traits Might Make People More Prone to Alzheimer’s, Study Finds
Certain personality traits — like high levels of neuroticism and low conscientiousness — may be linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, finds a study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. But people don't develop these traits are during pre-symptomatic stages of the disease, said the study, which showing that those who become mildly impaired or demented do not experience changes in their personality that might flag the onset of Alzheimer's. The study, “Personality Change in the Preclinical Phase of Alzheimer Disease,” debunks the idea that the disease itself modulates such traits, but so far, it has been impossible to assess when these traits appear. Researchers at Florida State University and the National Institute on Aging — a unit of the National Institutes of Health — suspected that these traits might arise as a consequence of early disease processes that occur decades before Alzheimer’s makes itself known. To study their hypothesis, they followed 2,046 cognitively healthy older adults for an average of 12 years (and some for up to 36 years). During this time, they often completed personality assessments scoring five personality features: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Over time, 104 people (about 5.1 percent of the total) developed mild cognitive impairment, considered a precursor of dementia. Another 255 (12.5 percent) developed dementia in general,
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