Personality predictors of dementia diagnosis and neuropathological burden: An individual participant data meta-analysis

Emorie D. Beck, Tomiko Yoneda, Bryan D. James, David A. Bennett, Jason Hassenstab, Mindy J. Katz, Richard B. Lipton, John Morris, Daniel K. Mroczek, Eileen K. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: The extent to which the Big Five personality traits and subjective well-being (SWB) are discriminatory predictors of clinical manifestation of dementia versus dementia-related neuropathology is unclear. METHODS: Using data from eight independent studies (Ntotal= 44,531; Ndementia= 1703; baseline Mage= 49 to 81 years, 26 to 61% female; Mfollow-up range = 3.53 to 21.00 years), Bayesian multilevel models tested whether personality traits and SWB differentially predicted neuropsychological and neuropathological characteristics of dementia. RESULTS: Synthesized and individual study results indicate that high neuroticism and negative affect and low conscientiousness, extraversion, and positive affect were associated with increased risk of long-term dementia diagnosis. There were no consistent associations with neuropathology. DISCUSSION: This multistudy project provides robust, conceptually replicated and extended evidence that psychosocial factors are strong predictors of dementia diagnosis but not consistently associated with neuropathology at autopsy. Highlights: N(+), C(−), E(−), PA(−), and NA(+) were associated with incident diagnosis. Results were consistent despite self-report versus clinical diagnosis of dementia. Psychological factors were not associated with neuropathology at autopsy. Individuals with higher conscientiousness and no diagnosis had less neuropathology. High C individuals may withstand neuropathology for longer before death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497-1514
Number of pages18
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Braak stage
  • Lewy body disease
  • TDP-43
  • agreeableness
  • arteriosclerosis
  • cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • cerebral atherosclerosis
  • extraversion
  • gross cerebral infarcts
  • gross cerebral microinfarcts
  • hippocampal sclerosis
  • individual participant data meta-analysis
  • openness
  • positive affect
  • satisfaction with life


Dive into the research topics of 'Personality predictors of dementia diagnosis and neuropathological burden: An individual participant data meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this