Experts have obtained striking data about dementia, which affects millions of people around the world.
People who are conscientious, extroverted and have a positive outlook are less likely to develop dementia, according to a new study.
USAFor the study, researchers examined measures of the “big five” personality traits—conscientiousness, extraversion, openness to experience, neuroticism, and agreeableness.
Data from eight studies involving more than 44,000 people aged 49 to 81 were followed for up to 21 years, during which time 1,703 developed dementia.
The analysis found that people who were more attentive, such as those who made a point of doing things right, were outgoing, or had a positive outlook, were less likely to be diagnosed with dementia.
Some studies have also found that participants who score high on openness to new experiences, agreeableness, and life satisfaction have some form of protection against the disease.
Meanwhile, people who scored high on neuroticism and had more negative affect (for example, those who had greater feelings of anger, anxiety, guilt, or fear) had a higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia.
THEY FIND A WAY TO COPE
In research conducted at the University of Davis in the USA, the team suggested that personality is thought to be linked to the risk of dementia through behavior.
For example, people who score high on conscientiousness may be more likely to eat well and take care of their health, resulting in better long-term health.
Another explanation could be that certain personality traits may make people more resilient to damage caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s. People with higher levels of certain traits can find ways to cope with and overcome disorders, whether they are aware of it or not.
The findings were published in Alzheimer & Dementia: The Journal.