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UC Davis study shows people's personalities could help prevent Alzheimer's

UC Davis study shows people's personalities could help prevent dementia
UC Davis study shows people's personalities could help prevent dementia 01:37

Is the glass half empty or half full? The way you answer the question could reveal your odds of getting Alzheimer's disease.

Emorie Beck, a UC Davis psychology professor, said new research shows people with positive life attitudes are less likely to experience the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

"We're thinking about people who are really industrious, people who are really good at habit stacking, people who plan ahead," Beck said.

She said those who have anxiety, depression and negative feelings are at greater odds of getting dementia-related diseases.

"The earlier in life that we can do some of these kind of behavioral interventions, the better," Beck said.

Alzheimer's disease is currently the third-leading cause of death in California, but this UC Davis research shows its effects could be mitigated by lifestyle changes.

"Hopefully, it could be kind of a wake-up call that if you've been dealing with chronic stress or something like that, maybe it is time to start considering something like psychotherapy," Beck said.

Researchers also found no physical differences in the brains of people with different personality traits, suggesting that people can choose to change their outlooks and lower their risk.

"Like a life coach kind of thing. Help you put yourself in order, and by doing that, then hopefully engaging in some of these positive health behaviors like drinking less, not smoking, eating better, exercise," Beck said

The study is being published this month in "The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association" with funding coming from the National Institute of Health.

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