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SOUL/BODY: Conscientiousness . . . to Prevent Dementia.

by Betsy Robinson

We've known for a while that being conscientious influences resilience and longevity, but now a new study called the Religious Orders Study (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007:64) also links it to mental acuity in old age.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, and the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, recruited 997 older Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers without dementia and had them complete a standard 12-item measure of conscientiousness with statements such as "I am a productive person who always gets the job done." Over the 12-year period from 1994 to 2006, 176 of the group developed Alzheimer's disease. Those who had scored in the ninetieth percentile, indicating high conscientiousness, were found to have an 89 percent reduction in risk of Alzheimer's compared with those who scored low (tenth percentile).
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Author:Robinson, Betsy
Publication:Spirituality & Health Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2008
Words:139
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