Personality and Dementia: Mechanisms and Trajectories

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Personality and Dementia: Mechanisms and Trajectories

Cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, and physical functioning are profoundly impacted by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias. Research on the biological and psychosocial mechanisms that lead to dementia is essential to identify appropriate targets for interventions.

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This project aims to advance a mechanistic understanding of the association between personality and dementia. The project also seeks to delineate the timing and trajectory of personality change from the preclinical to the prodromal phase of AD and related dementias. We aim to identify inflection points for personality change in the earliest symptomatic phase of the disease.

Relevant Publications

  • Terracciano A, Bilgel M, Aschwanden D, Luchetti M, Stephan Y, Moghekar AR, Wong DF, Ferrucci L, Sutin AR, Resnick SM. Personality Associations With Amyloid and Tau: Results From the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging and Meta-analysis. Biol Psychiatry. 2022, 91(4):359-369. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.08.021.
  • Sesker AA, O’Súilleabháin PS, Lee JH, Aschwanden D, Luchetti M, Stephan Y, Terracciano A, Sutin AR. Pathways From Early-Life SES to Dementia Risk in Old Age: The Role of Personality. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2022, 77(5):850-859. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbab159.
  • Terracciano A, Aschwanden D, Passamonti L, Toschi N, Stephan Y, Luchetti M, Lee JH, Sesker A, O’Súilleabháin PS, Sutin AR. Is neuroticism differentially associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia? J Psychiatr Res. 2021, 138:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.03.039. PMC8192471
  • Luchetti M, Terracciano A, Stephan Y, Aschwanden D, Sutin AR. Personality Traits and Memory: A Multilevel Analysis Across 27 Countries From the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Psychol Sci. 2021, 32(7):1047-1057. doi: 10.1177/0956797621993101. PMC8641139
  • Aschwanden D, Strickhouser JE, Luchetti M, Stephan Y, Sutin AR, Terracciano Is personality associated with dementia risk? A meta-analytic investigation. Ageing Res Rev. 2021, 67:101269. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101269. PMC8005464



Key Information

Research Activities

To address the study aims, we leverage data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) and other long-term prospective studies to identify personality-based vulnerability and resilience to dementia.

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