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Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 1991 Winter;5(4):240-50.

Ratings of personality change in patients being evaluated for memory disorders.

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  • 1Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.


Caregivers of 35 mildly to moderately memory-impaired patients rated current and premorbid personalities with the NEO Personality Inventory. We then examined changes in the five domains of personality tapped by the NEO. There were significant changes in four of the five domains of normal personality functioning toward less conscientiousness, lower extraversion, higher neuroticism, and lower openness. The difference toward lower agreeableness was not significant when controlling for multiple comparisons. Spearman rank correlation coefficients indicated that changes in conscientiousness and vulnerability were not related to rated premorbid personality patterns and thus appear to describe shifts for all patients evaluated for memory disorders. These data suggest that personality inventories may be helpful in characterizing caregivers' observations of memory-impaired patients and thus represent a critical source of information for the clinician in charge of care.

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