Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Different Personality Types Increase Dementia Risk, Study Suggests

There may be a link between personality and the development of dementia, according to a study published August 1 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Researchers at the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia conducted a meta-analysis of multiple case-control and longitudinal studies that assessed the association between personality and onset of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

 With data from more than 5,000 subjects, the analysis found that neuroticism—which included feelings of guilt, anger, anxiety, and depression—was associated with a greater risk for dementia and MCI. In contrast, conscientiousness was shown to be protective against dementia and MCI. In addition, the analysis suggested that extroverted and submissive behaviors had no correlation with the cognitive disorders.

Chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Constantine Lyketsos, M.D., commented to Psychiatric News that "Age and genetics are the major risk factors for dementia...but it's not clear what the mechanism of the link actually is. It could be that people of different personalities practice different behaviors that are differentially associated with dementia. An important consideration is age...as personality does change somewhat with aging, it will be important to understand how age and personality interact in the onset of dementia."

To read more on dementia and related cognitive disorders in Psychiatric News, click here and here.

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