Do you have a naturally cheerful personality? A new study shows that over the years, it may protect you from dementia, UPI writes.
A team of researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago reports that certain personality traits - conscientiousness, sociability and a positive attitude - appear to lower a person's chances of being diagnosed with dementia.
On the other hand, neuroticism and a more negative outlook and behavior were associated with a higher risk of mental decline, the same study found.
People's personalities can influence whether daily habits are healthy or unhealthy for the brain, explained a team of scientists led by researcher Eileen Graham, associate professor of health and social sciences at Northwestern University.
The scientists' new analysis focused on what psychologists have long called the "Big Five" personality traits: conscientiousness, extraversion, openness to experience, neuroticism and malleability.
Graham's team examined data from eight studies. Together, the studies involved more than 44,000 people, 1,703 of whom later developed dementia.
High scores for negative personality traits such as neuroticism and negative emotional states, plus low scores for conscientiousness, extraversion and positive affect all appear to increase the likelihood of developing dementia, according to the analysis.