Your personality can protect or age your brain, study finds

Your personality can protect or age your brain, study finds

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Key Facts

  • Being more conscientious and extroverted keeps mild cognitive impairment at bay longer, while having higher levels of neuroticism increases the chances of cognitive decline, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
  • “Specific traits may increase risk due to a lifetime of behaviors that predispose a person to developing cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease, or there could be more of a direct biological role related to early disease pathology,” said Isaacson, who was not involved in the study.
  • The study examined the role of three key personality traits – conscientiousness, extroversion and neuroticism – on how people weathered cognitive decline in later life.
  • People with a high score on conscientiousness or a low score in neuroticism were significantly less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment during the course of the study, Yoneda said.

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