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Personality Traits Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease Markers in the Brain

NIA-supported researchers found that people whose personalities were less neurotic and more conscientious tended to have lower levels of amyloid and tau deposits – markers of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.
 
Researchers analyzed data from the NIA Intramural Research Program’s Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, while also performing a larger meta-analysis of 12 other studies that included personality and Alzheimer’s pathology data from more than 3,000 participants. Personality data was compared to positron emission tomography (PET) brain scans, a form of brain imaging technology that enables scientists and clinicians to visualize and quantify amounts of amyloid and tau neuropathology in living clinical trial participants.
 
In the combined data sets, the scientists found more amyloid and tau deposits in participants who scored higher in neuroticism and lower in conscientiousness. Although researchers are unsure of the explanations behind these results, the study is seen as evidence that personality is related to dementia-associated pathology before outward symptoms of cognitive impairment become apparent. It is another step in investigating these intriguing mind/body connections in Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
 
Read more about the research study.

Last Updated on March 2, 2022

Published by Chrishun Brown

Communications Manager for the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center

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