Navigation Links
'Personality genes' may help account for longevity
Date:5/24/2012

May 24, 2012 (BRONX, NY) "It's in their genes" is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. But researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix.

The findings, published online May 21 in the journal Aging, come from Einstein's Longevity Genes Project, which includes over 500 Ashkenazi Jews over the age of 95 and 700 of their offspring. Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews were selected because they are genetically homogeneous, making it easier to spot genetic differences within the study population.

Previous studies have indicated that personality arises from underlying genetic mechanisms that may directly affect health. The present study of 243 of the centenarians (average age 97.6 years, 75 percent women) was aimed at detecting genetically-based personality characteristics by developing a brief measure (the Personality Outlook Profile Scale, or POPS) of personality in centenarians.

"When I started working with centenarians, I thought we'd find that they survived so long in part because they were mean and ornery," said Nir Barzilai, M.D., the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, director of Einstein's Institute for Aging Research and co-corresponding author of the study. "But when we assessed the personalities of these 243 centenarians, we found qualities that clearly reflect a positive attitude towards life. Most were outgoing, optimistic and easygoing. They considered laughter an important part of life and had a large social network. They expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up." In addition, the centenarians had lower scores for displaying neurotic personality and higher scores for being conscientious compared with a representative sample of the U.S. population.

"Some evidence indicates that personality can change between the ages of 70 and 100, so we don't know whether our centenarians have maintained their personality traits across their entire lifespans," continued Dr. Barzilai. "Nevertheless, our findings suggest that centenarians share particular personality traits and that genetically-based aspects of personality may play an important role in achieving both good health and exceptional longevity."

The study is titled "Positive attitude towards life and emotional expression as personality phenotypes for centenarians." The POPS was developed by lead author Kaori Kato, Psy.D., now at Weill Cornell Medical College, who validated it through comparisons with two previously established measures of personality traits. Other authors of the study were Richard Zweig, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Einstein and director of the Older Adult Program at Ferkauf, and Gil Atzmon, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and of genetics at Einstein.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kim Newman
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Friendly to a fault, yet tense: Personality traits traced in brain
2. The dark path to antisocial personality disorder
3. Biography captures Sydney Brenners unflagging scientific curiosity and lively personality
4. Personality predicts political preferences
5. Understanding a cells split personality aids synthetic circuits
6. Cells split personality is a major discovery into neurological diseases
7. Sugar, spice and puppy dog tails: Developing sex-typed personality traits and interests
8. MU researcher identifies possible genetic causes of borderline personality disorder
9. New evidence that many genes of small effect influence economic decisions and political attitudes
10. WSU researchers say genes and vascular risk modify effects of aging on brain and cognition
11. Clusters of cooperating tumor-suppressor genes are found in large regions deleted in common cancers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/20/2016)... N.C. and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biometric data sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics ... the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today the ... development kit for biometric wearables that includes ST,s ... with Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Germany , December 15, 2016 ... announced an agreement with NuData Security, an award-winning ... partnership will enable clients to focus on good customer experience, ... protection regulation. ... In order to provide a one-stop fraud prevention suite, ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... -- "Increase in mobile transactions is driving the growth ... is expected to grow from USD 4.03 billion in ... CAGR of 29.3% between 2016 and 2022. The market ... for smart devices, government initiatives, and increasing penetration of ... expected to grow at a high rate during the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... replacement at the Caribbean Neurosciences Symposium (CANS) annual meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica ... technology and host a hands-on workshop for surgeons to experience the simplicity of ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... ... Nipro Corporation (Osaka, Japan) and Transonic Systems Inc. (New York, USA) announced the ... sales rights for all non-OEM Transonic products in Japan. As partners for more than ... - Transonic JV is a natural next step to advance best practices and further ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... BOULDER, Colo. , Jan. 20, 2017 ... ("Bioptix" or the "Company"), announced that on January 14, ... a plan under which the Company will terminate certain ... subsidiary, Bioptix Diagnostics, Inc.  The Company commenced terminations on ... completed within 30 days.  The Company may pay severance ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , ... January 20, 2017 , ... The two newest ... treatment options for patients. Vironika, a spin out from The Wistar Institute, and Sanguis, ... lab space at 3624 Market Street. , Vironika is developing a treatment for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: