© Bonnie Kamin Chill baby, chill. That's the advice of the researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. If you're neurotic, you have at least a fifty percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease than people who don't get bent out of shape.
Well, that's not exactly how Dr. Hui-Xin Wang, lead researcher in the personality study, said it, but it's close. The study was conducted by questionnaire to men and women age 78 and over. The 6-year study focused on two aspects of personality: neuroticism (defined by the researchers as "easily distressed") and extroversion (defined as "openness to talking to people").
To summarize the results, people identified as calm, self-satisfied, and not easily upset were half as likely to develop Alzheimer's Disease than those prone to distress, whether or not the respondents were identified as extroverted or introverted. So while there was no difference in Alzheimer's occurrence between the extroverted-calm person and the introverted-calm person, the most likely persons to succumb to Alzheimer's were both neurotic and introverted. This suggests that socialization is still important, although not as important a risk factor in Alzheimer's as neurosis.
Other medical research indicates that socialization is important to maintain as we age, as is a healthy diet, exercise, and lots of mental stimulation. But this study indicates that the way we handle stress influences our risk factors for Alzheimer's, just like ulcers, or headaches, heart attacks, stroke, and other diseases in which stress is a big factor.
So, chill baby, chill.
BBC News (Photo Credit: Ballet Magazine, ©Bonnie Kamin)
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