New longitudinal study results
A new study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, investigated personality changes relating to dementia. The researchers, Antonio Terracciano and Angelina Sutin – associate professors at Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee – followed a group of over 2,000 participants over the course of 36 years. Over 45% of the participants were female, with an average age of 62. At the time of the study, researchers looked for decreased conscientiousness, increased neuroticism, and other personality changes. During the follow-up period, over 5% developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 12.5% developed dementia. The majority of the patients had Alzheimer’s disease. It remains questionable as to whether the changes occurred before the occurrence of the disease, either due to brain pathologies of the disease itself or simply due to independent risk factors for the condition.
While MCI is not severe enough to affect the day to day activities of the individuals it affects, it is a strong indicator of AD.