In a recent study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, researchers found that certain personality traits can protect brain structures against neuro-degeneration.
They found people who are less agreeable but with a natural curiosity and little conformism have better preservation of the brain regions that tend to be harmed by normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
The research is from the University of Geneva (UNIGE). One author is Professor Panteleimon Giannakopoulos.
Alzheimer’s disease, the main cause of dementia in the elderly, is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the irreversible destruction of neuronal networks in certain brain structures affecting memory.
While some risk factors are known, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, the potential role of non-biological factors begins to be discovered.
In the study, the team recruited a large cohort of people over 65 years of age in a longitudinal study.
Various methodologies were used, including functional and structural brain imaging, to assess amyloid accumulation and brain volume.
The team found people who are unpleasant, who are not afraid of conflicts and who show a certain anti-conformity have better-protected brains.
In addition, this protection takes place precisely in the memory circuits that are damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.
The team says a high level of agreeableness characterizes highly adaptive personalities, who want above all to be in line with the wishes of others, to avoid conflict, and to seek cooperation.
This differs from extraversion. You can be very extroverted and not very pleasant, as are narcissistic personalities, for example.
Another personality trait seems to have a protective effect, but in a less clear-cut way: openness to experience.
This is in line with previous findings that the desire to learn and interest in the world around us protects against cerebral aging.
The team says it seems difficult to profoundly change one’s personality, especially at an advanced age.
Therefore, taking this into account from a personalized medicine perspective is essential in order to weigh up all the protective and risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you care about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about this existing-vaccine may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and findings of this new drug may treat cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and more.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment, please see recent studies about 6 things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease effectively and results showing that how to predict Alzheimer’s disease-like memory loss before it appears.
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