New research shows that there may be a link between some personality traits and the risk of cognitive problems, such as dementia, later in life.
Nearly 2,000 participants without dementia completed a personality test, which was compared with their health and cognitive complaints as they got older. Remarkably, organized and disciplined people were less likely to have mild cognitive decline, while neurotic people were more likely to have mild cognitive decline.
It’s an association, so it’s not clear if traits are really the cause, but scientists think so. “Personality traits reflect long-term thought patterns, which have a cumulative effect on healthy and unhealthy behaviors throughout life,” says psychologist Tomiko Yoneda of the University of Victoria in Canada. Against Science Alert. “This sum of lifelong experience may contribute to susceptibility to certain diseases and conditions, such as mild cognitive decline.”
Among the Big Five tested, conscientiousness relates to qualities such as being responsible and organized, working hard, and being goal-oriented. Those who scored high on this, were less affected by decreased ability to think or memory. A difference of 6 points on a scale from 0 to 48 was responsible for a 22 percent reduction in risk.
Those with low neuroticism scores are emotionally stable and less anxious or depressed. A lower score corresponds to a lower risk of cognitive decline later in life. A difference of 7 points resulted in a 12 percent reduction in risk.sources): Science alert