People with these personality traits may have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Credit: Christian Bowen/ Unsplash

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 a recent study from the University of Geneva, scientists found that certain personality traits can protect brain structures against Alzheimer’s disease.

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.

In the study, researchers 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 brain health, please read studies about the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and this diabetes drug may also help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher dementia risk.

The study was conducted by Professor Panteleimon Giannakopoulos et al and published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.