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Can personality traits point to risk of dementia?

May 05, 2022

Personality traits may determine a person’s vulnerability to dementia later in life, according to new research by UVic alumna (PhD) Tomiko Yoneda, recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Yoneda says that people with a high level of conscientiousness and a low level of neuroticism are less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment as they get older.

"Personality traits reflect relatively enduring patterns of thinking and behaving, which may cumulatively affect engagement in healthy and unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns across the lifespan," adds Yoneda.

The study included 1,954 volunteers without any diagnosis of dementia. The findings of the personality questionnaires indicated that organized and self-disciplined people appeared less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, whereas neurotic people were more prone to it.

Extensive media coverage of the study includes CNN, Good Morning America, HealthLine, and about 30 articles published across various news networks in Canada, the US, and the UK.

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