Health Advice



Personality and Alzheimer's Disease

Scott LaFee on

Apart from biological factors such as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, new research suggests some personality traits may be risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. The factors have been proven to be causal but may be associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Specifically, scientists found that neuroticism -- the personality trait that describes someone who gravitates toward unsettling emotions, such as anxiety and depression -- may increase the likelihood of developing amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain.

Conversely, the personality trait of conscientiousness -- being responsible, careful, goal- and detail-oriented -- may reduce the likelihood of developing them.

Body of Knowledge

Shy people purportedly produce less dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter, in their brains. Dopamine plays a role in how we experience pleasure and think and plan, and helps encourage ambition, focus and finding things interesting.

Stories for the Waiting Room


The Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, issues its own hospital rankings based on measures of social responsibility such as equity, value and outcomes. Here are the top five:

Carepoint Health-Christ Hospital, Jersey City, New Jersey

Saint Michael's Medical Center, Newark, New Jersey

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore


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