Health & Fit Your High School Persona Can Predict Your Risk of Dementia

18:26  16 october  2019
18:26  16 october  2019 Source:   newsweek.com

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Brain. Athlete. Basket case. Princess. Criminal—can your high school persona predict your health decades later?

Molly Ringwald et al. posing for the camera: Ally Sheedy as Allison ('basket case') and Molly Ringwald as Claire ('princess')—two-fifths of 'The Breakfast Club' in the 1985 movie by John Hughes.© Universal Pictures/Getty Ally Sheedy as Allison ('basket case') and Molly Ringwald as Claire ('princess')—two-fifths of 'The Breakfast Club' in the 1985 movie by John Hughes.

It might seem far-fetched but a team of researchers in the U.S. have found evidence to suggest the personality traits you display during teenagehood may be an indicator for your risk of being diagnosed with dementia in later life.

According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, students that displayed higher levels of maturity and calmness were less likely to develop dementia in older age, or develop the condition later. Meanwhile those that displayed higher levels of impulsivity were more likely to be diagnosed with the condition, and also more likely to develop it an earlier stage.

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“Participants without a high school degree who sleep for more than 9 hours each night had six times the risk of developing dementia in 10 years as compared to “Self-reported sleep duration may be a useful clinical tool to help predict persons at risk of progressing to clinical dementia within 10 years.

at a higher risk of developing dementia , suggesting that proper treatment of depressive symptoms could lower a person’s risk for cognitive decline later in "But dementia takes a long time to develop, more than a decade, and there's been school of thought that depression was perhaps an early sign of

Previous studies have shown that there are correlations between particular personality phenotypes and the development of dementia in older adults but little on whether associations can be traced back to adolescence.

Because neuropathologic changes can take place years before symptoms become noticeable and because personality changes may be a consequence (not cause) of dementia, it becomes hard to determine whether "dementia-prone personality profiles" are risk factors or a sign of the disease, even if it is yet to be diagnosed. These profiles include traits like high neuroticism and low conscientiousness.

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Researchers hope that by studying adolescent personality—before even the earliest stages of the disease are likely to be present—they will be able to improve the understanding of the link between personality and disease.

Lead researcher Benjamin P. Chapman from the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, and colleagues measured 10 personality traits in a group of 82,232 adults (mean age 69.5 years old) who would have been high school students in 1960, using a 150-item Project Talent Personality Inventory. They then identified those who had been diagnosed with dementia between 2011 and 2013—a number that amounted to 2,543 (or 3.1 percent) of the total.

Even after factors such as height, weight, income, occupation and socioeconomic status had been taken into consideration, the study authors note significant correlations between certain personality traits and dementia risk.

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The symptoms of dementia are not determined by a person’s age, but younger people often have different needs, and require some different support. There is a wider range of diseases that cause young-onset dementia and a younger person is much more likely to have a rarer form of dementia .

High -energy extroverted teens could be less likely to develop dementia in later life 'because they have busier and more physically active lifestyles', study shows. But until now it has not been clear whether it is the disease that cultivates changes in one's personality, or if one's personality can predict the

While the results suggest that high levels of extraversion (or vigor), maturity and calmness are associated with a lower rate of dementia diagnosis, high levels of impulsivity appear to be associated with a higher rate of diagnosis.

As the authors point out, a mean age of 69.5 years old limits the findings to early-onset dementia and it is unclear whether or not the same associations would apply to people in their seventies and eighties, or older. Nonetheless, they conclude their findings suggest "the adolescent personality traits associated with later-life dementia are similar to those observed in studies of older persons."

"Personality phenotype may be a true independent risk factor for dementia by age 70 years, preceding it by almost 5 decades and interacting with adolescent socioeconomic conditions."

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Half of middle-aged Americans think they will develop dementia .
Many try to beat the odds with supplements like ginkgo biloba and vitamin E that aren't proven to help.Researchers examined data from the University of Michigan's 2018 National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA), a nationally representative survey of adults ages 50 to 80. Overall, 44.3% of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to develop dementia, and 4.2% said they were very likely to develop dementia.

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