Scientists continue to strive to better understand the phenomenon of dementia. A team of American experts recently made a surprising discovery. It turns out that certain personality traits may be a factor that reduces the risk of neurological disorders.
Researchers analyzed data from over 44,000 people. They decided to check whether the so-called Big Five personality traits – conscientiousness, extraversion, openness to experience, neuroticism and agreeableness – are related to dementia and brain disorders. Their conclusions are surprising.
What personality traits protect against dementia?
Scientists have found that a negative attitude towards life, high neuroticism scores and low levels of traits such as conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to new experiences may increase the risk of dementia. Similarly, high scores on the scale of openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness are a protective factor against the occurrence of the indicated neurological disorders.
How can this be explained? Scientists speculate that the mentioned character traits may favor certain specific behaviors and encourage, for example, greater care for one’s health, which in the long run results in improved functioning of the body. Moreover, people who are agreeable and open to experience can better cope with possible cognitive impairment by finding ways to “work around” and compensate for the deficits they experience.
What influences the development of dementia?
Scientists emphasize that further research needs to be conducted to further analyze the relationship between personality traits and the risk of developing dementia. Attention should also be paid to other factors contributing to the occurrence of neurological disorders. This includes hypertension, diabetes, heavy smoking, alcohol abuse, overweight and obesity, and lack of physical activity. Social isolation, unhealthy diet or mental inactivity (lack of cognitive stimulation) may also contribute to the development of dementia.