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Personality Traits Linked with Memory and Thinking Problems, Study Suggests

Research from the US suggests that people who are organised and have self-discipline may be less likely to develop mild memory and thinking problems while those who are moodier may be at increased risk.

The publication, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published the findings today (Monday 11 April).

Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI as it’s often called, is a term used to describe early memory and thinking problems in older people.

While it is not a type of dementia many people with MCI experience difficulties that are greater than expected for their age. However, unlike dementia, these difficulties tend not to get in the way of a person’s day-to-day life.

You can read more about MCI on our website, or you can ring the Dementia Research Infoline on 0300 111 5111.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“The risk of developing memory problems is complex and is likely to be a mix of age, genetics and lifestyle factors. There is no sure-fire way to prevent MCI or dementia and research is underway to learn more about why some people are at more risk than others.

“While observational studies like this can be important for picking out health trends, this type of research is not able to tell us about cause and effect. This study adds to existing evidence of a potential link between personality types and cognitive decline, but we don’t yet understand the underlying reasons behind this link.

“The best current evidence indicates that staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy balanced diet, not smoking, drinking within the recommended guidelines moderation and keeping weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check are all good ways to support healthy brain ageing.”