NewsWorldYour personality can protect or age your brain, according...

Your personality can protect or age your brain, according to a study

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Scientists find that stress can change your brain 0:46 (CNN) — Some personality traits may be a crucial factor in some people developing mild cognitive impairment in adulthood, according to a new study.
Being more conscientious and outgoing keeps mild cognitive impairment at bay for longer, while having higher levels of neuroticism increases its odds, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “Personality traits reflect relatively enduring patterns of thought and behavior, which may cumulatively affect engagement in healthy and unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns throughout life,” lead author Tomiko Yoneda said in a statement. Postdoctoral student in Psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada. “The accumulation of experiences throughout life may contribute to susceptibility to certain diseases or disorders, such as mild cognitive impairment, or contribute to individual differences in the ability to cope with age-related neurological changes,” he added. Your Personality Strengths and Weaknesses 5:15While this association is seen in clinical practice, it’s hard to know which is “the chicken or the egg,” said Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Center’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic. Department of Brain Health at Florida Atlantic University Schmidt School of Medicine. “Some specific traits may increase risk due to a lifetime of behaviors that predispose a person to developing cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, or there could be a more direct biological role related to early disease pathology,” he said. Isaacson, who was not involved in the study. “Neurosis is specifically a trait that comes to mind, and previous meta-analyses have also shown this. Rumination and worry are related to smaller brain volumes,” he said in an email. “It’s not clear if the stress/neuroinflammation pathway is driving this. There’s no biomarker for this, so it’s hard to test.” Key Personality Traits The study looked at the personalities of nearly 2,000 people participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal study of Chicago-area older adults that began in 1997. The study examined the role of three key personality traits. personality: conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism, in the way people cope with cognitive decline in old age. Neurosis is a personality trait that affects the way a person copes with stress. Neurotic people approach life in a state of anxiety, anger, and shyness, often seeing minor frustrations as hopelessly overwhelming or threatening. Conscientious people tend to have high levels of self-discipline and are organized and goal-directed, Yoneda said, while extroverts live with enthusiasm and are often assertive and sociable. People with a high conscientiousness score or a low neurosis score were significantly less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment over the course of the study, Yoneda said. Every additional six points a person scored on the conscientiousness scale was “associated with a 22% lower risk of moving from normal cognitive functioning to mild cognitive impairment,” Yoneda said. This could translate to an 80-year-old with a high degree of conscientiousness living two more years without cognitive problems, compared to those who scored low on that trait, according to the study. According to the study, being more outgoing and socially involved seems to offer one more year of life without dementia. It also increased a person’s ability to regain normal cognitive function after receiving a previous diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, perhaps due to the benefits of socialization. However, as levels of neurosis increased, so did the risk of progressing to cognitive decline: Every additional seven points on the scale “was associated with a 12% increased risk,” Yoneda said, which could translate to the loss of at least one year of healthy cognition. This study is not the first to show a connection between personality and brain function. Previous research has shown that people who are more open to experiences, more thorough, and less neurotic do better cognitively on tests and experience less cognitive decline over time.

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