'Conscientious' Folks Face Lower Risk of Alzheimer's

Dependability appears to reduce threat: study
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2007 4:12 AM CDT
Alzheimer's patient Dorothy Eckert, left, hugs her daughter Louise Eckert at their home in Norristown Pa., Thursday, April 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – "Conscientious" people appear to be less likely to get Alzheimer's, researchers have found. Participants whose personality tests pegged them as extremely self-disciplined, goal-oriented and dependable were 89% less likely to get Alzheimer's than those at the opposite end of the diligence spectrum, according to a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Scientists aren't sure why conscientious people may be protected from Alzheimer's, but speculate that their resiliency may help safeguard them from stresses linked to development of the disease. "These factors might lessen chronic psychological distress, which has been associated with the risk of dementia," the authors wrote.