The evolution of personality in patients with mild cognitive impairment

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2013;36(5-6):329-39. doi: 10.1159/000353895. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Abstract

Aims: To describe personality traits and their changes in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and control subjects.

Methods: Sixty-three MCI and 90 control subjects were asked to describe their current personality traits by the Structured Interview for the Five-Factor Model (SIFFM). For each subject, a close relative retrospectively assessed these descriptions both as to the previous and current personality traits, using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, Form R (NEO-PI-R).

Results: Self-assessed MCI subjects reported significantly lower scores in the openness dimension than control subjects [F(1, 150) = 9.84, p = 0.002, ηp(2) = 0.06]. In current observer ratings, MCI subjects had higher scores on neuroticism [F(1, 137) = 7.55, p = 0.007, ηp(2) = 0.05] and lower ones on extraversion [F(1, 137) = 6.40, p = 0.013, ηp(2) = 0.04], openness [F(1, 137) = 9.93, p = 0.002, ηp(2) = 0.07], agreeableness [F(1, 137) = 10.18, p = 0.002, ηp(2) = 0.07] and conscientiousness [F(1, 137) = 25.96, p < 0.001, ηp(2) = 0.16]. Previous personality traits discriminated the groups as previous openness [odds ratio (OR) = 0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.95-0.99, p = 0.014] and conscientiousness (OR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.98, p = 0.001) were negatively related to MCI group membership. In MCI subjects, conscientiousness [F(1, 137) = 19.20, p < 0.001, ηp(2) = 0.12] and extraversion [F(1, 137) = 22.27, p < 0.001, ηp(2) = 0.14] decreased between previous and current evaluations and neuroticism increased [F(1, 137) = 22.23, p < 0.001, ηp(2) = 0.14], whereas no significant change was found in control subjects.

Conclusions: MCI subjects undergo significant personality changes. Thus, personality assessment may aid the early detection of dementia.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / complications*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / genetics
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / metabolism
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Observation
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / etiology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Retrospective Studies

Substances

  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Biomarkers
  • Genetic Markers