Understanding personality in multiple sclerosis using a Five-Factor model approach
Englert, Jessica Jane
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Personality traits, which have been demonstrated as relatively stable across the lifespan in healthy adults, may change with the course of neurological disease. Although multiple sclerosis (MS) has been well studied across areas of cognitive change, little is known about personality change that may occur in MS patients. The current study utilized a retrospective rating approach to examine patient and caregiver perceptions of premorbid personality functioning. Utilizing the Five-Factor theory of personality, the NEO-Five Factor Inventory was administered to gain standardized ratings of both current and premorbid personality functioning. A healthy control sample was also studied, and provided a comparison for trends of adult personality ratings across time. Significant differences were found on various personality factor ratings between MS patients and controls on both self and informant reports. Cognitive impairment amongst MS patients was also compared with personality ratings over time. These findings are similar to previous personality studies in MS and Alzheimer's disease patient samples, thus providing further evidence for the existence of a specific dementia-related personality type.