Don’t want Alzheimer’s? Study says you might need to be a better person

Will being strong and dependable mean a stronger mind at old age?A lengthy study of nuns, priests and monks by a medical researcher in Chicago produced a stunning correlation between the conscientiousness of the person and the likelihood of dementia in later life. Conscientiousness was described as someone self-disciplined, scrupulous and dependable. Those that scored in the 90th percentile for conscientiousness in 1994 had 89% less chance of contracting Alzheimer’s than someone in the 10th percentile as well as less cognitive decline. The researcher’s hypothesis for the link is that determined and dependable people are more resilient and adaptable to change.

[via reuters, photo by triblondon]

4 thoughts on “Don’t want Alzheimer’s? Study says you might need to be a better person”

  1. There could be a weakness to their correlation. What if the reason the less dependable folks weren’t as conscientious in 1994 was because the early stages of Alzheimer’s had already set in, and the poor souls couldn’t remember what it was they were supposed to do? Then it would only look like they weren’t conscientious, when really they were just forgetful. 🙂

    Oh, and being nuns and priests and all, maybe the ones who stayed healthy just had a lot of people praying for them!! (I know, I know. That idea won’t be popular with this crowd, but C.S. Lewis and I are both living proof that belief in God and a love of science/science fiction do mix.)

  2. Oops. C.S. Lewis can’t be “living proof” anymore can he? Oh well, he was living proof, and his Space Trilogy is still alive and kicking, and read by many, many Christians with a fondness for science fiction.

  3. That’s certainly a possibility Kat. I’m sure if it turns out to be true there will be more reports confirming the findings in a few years!

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