Just Say No! Being Stubborn, Rigid May Lower Your Alzheimer’s Risk

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

GENEVA — Here’s the study all you grumps have been waiting for: A truly fascinating new piece of research finds that being just a little stubborn and argumentative may just protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Before you go and pick a fight with the next person who looks at you funny, that lack of agreeability would be most effective if accompanied by a healthy dose or curiosity and an aversion to conformity. According to researchers at the University of Geneva, people with that personality combination showed better preservation of brain areas that usually deteriorate and lose volume during the aging process and lead up to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The research team had been studying a group of elderly people for several years, through the use of both brain imaging and psycho-cognitive evaluations, to make this discovery. They had theorized that certain personality traits may be able to protect the brain against degeneration, and were proven correct.

These are truly groundbreaking results; for decades scientists have been trying to develop an effective vaccine against Alzheimer’s that would reverse and repair the neural damage done by excessive levels of amyloid, a small protein long believed to the catalyst for Alzheimer’s. Now, this new research suggests that non-biological means, like personality, may be able to help mitigate one’s dementia risk.

“Between the destruction of the first neurons and the appearance of the first symptoms, 10 to 12 years elapse”, says Professor Panteleimon Giannakopoulos, a psychiatrist with the university’s Faculty of Medicine, in a statement. “For a long time, the brain is able to compensate by activating alternative networks; when the first clinical signs appear, however, it is unfortunately often too late. The identification of early biomarkers is therefore essential for an effective disease management.”

This study could totally reshape the way neuropsychiatric disorders are approached, and help create new, novel treatment options.

A large group of people, all over the age of 65, were initially recruited for the study. Then, the field was narrowed to 65 participants, both men and women, who were examined multiple times over the course of five years.

“In order to get as complete a picture as possible, we decided to look at the non-lesional determinants of brain damage, i.e. the environment, lifestyle and psychology,” says Professor Giannakopoulos. “So we conducted cognitive and personality assessments.”

The subsequent findings were astounding. In short, people who are “unpleasant,” unafraid of conflict, and resist conformity, appear to have better protected brains. Moreover, this protective property resides exactly where Alzheimer’s is known to take root in memory circuits.

“A high level of agreeableness characterizes highly adaptive personalities, who want above all to be in line with the wishes of others, to avoid conflict, and to seek cooperation”, Professor Giannakopoulos notes. “This differs from extraversion. You can be very extroverted and not very pleasant, as are narcissistic personalities, for example. The important determinant is the relationship to the other: do we adapt to others at our own expenses?”

An openness to new experiences also displayed a protective effect, albeit not as prominently as the other traits.

“This is less surprising, as we already knew that the desire to learn and interest in the world around us protects against cerebral aging,” he comments.

As far as why these specific traits have this effect, the study’s authors remain in the dark. However, they believe they’ve taken an important step in better understanding dementia as a whole and effectively treating it.

“If it seems difficult to profoundly change one’s personality, especially at an advanced age, taking this into account in a personalized medicine perspective is essential in order to weigh up all the protective and risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease. It is an important part of a complex puzzle,” the study concludes.

The study is published in Neurobiology of Aging.

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I thought this was interesting, though I think we know that beta amyloid plaque is not the only thing that can cause Alzheimer-like symptoms. I think being less agreeable would equate to also being able to take a stand on issues rather than capitulating to people who are of higher rank or status than oneself, for example. Generally you would need to have the courage and the conviction of the truthfulness of your opinions to be disagreeable, unless you were a psychopath for whom there is no truth and whatever advances their goals gets classified as their "truth". So all in all, are we really seeing a risk reduction from being stubborn and rigid for the right reasons or does it also apply to anyone who displays these traits like sociopaths or psychopaths. Well I looked into the study a little further and the risk was equated to having more alleles of the APOE4 gene cluster.

We also have to take into account that brain inflammation because of bad diet, and environmental stressors can break people's brains down regardless of their personality. One could say that stubbornness and rigidity could be more pronounced thanks to stress from these factors, creating the illusion of a stable personality but without the ability to think critically and make proper decisions. Maybe just another poorly conducted study?
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think the trick with stubbornness is how to apply it in a smart way. You can be grumpy and stubborn just to be contrarian and you may ‘cut your nose to spite your face’, or you can use that as a tool not to get roped in or pressured to do something that you don’t want to do. Same with the opposite - it’s good if you are generally nice, but if somebody is trying to manipulate you for their own ends, you might have to be quite firm, even ‘nasty’. If you are ‘just stubborn for the heck of it’ you might fend off Alzheimer’s, but ‘survive’ as a bitter and resentful person. Not sure which one’s better. I think it’s another case of applying the Law of Three - there is good, there is bad, and there is the context which makes it good or bad!
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think the trick with stubbornness is how to apply it in a smart way. You can be grumpy and stubborn just to be contrarian and you may ‘cut your nose to spite your face’, or you can use that as a tool not to get roped in or pressured to do something that you don’t want to do. Same with the opposite - it’s good if you are generally nice, but if somebody is trying to manipulate you for their own ends, you might have to be quite firm, even ‘nasty’. If you are ‘just stubborn for the heck of it’ you might fend off Alzheimer’s, but ‘survive’ as a bitter and resentful person. Not sure which one’s better. I think it’s another case of applying the Law of Three - there is good, there is bad, and there is the context which makes it good or bad!
I'm really terrible at being able to set boundaries, and set them at all the wrong places and have paid the price for it by missed opportunities and so on. It's all kind of now culminating at this point where I see the fruits of my actions come to light so to speak. When they say hindsight is 20/20 they weren't kidding! It's been a nightmare rollercoaster ride so far and I keep making misstep after misstep as I bumble along.

In short, Authoritarian followers are more likely to get Alzheimer's?
Absolutely. That would make total sense. If our brains are trained to follow, follow, follow and not critically think about difficult decisions for once, it wouldn't take much for a brain to melt into a pile of useless goo. Maybe character and personality are honed through the making of difficult decisions without immediately resorting to authority? The difficult part of making ones own decisions is the blow back that could potentially be felt from unwise and amateur choices in life. And I guess that's when we learn- and suffer for it! :-O
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The difficult part of making ones own decisions is the blow back that could potentially be felt from unwise and amateur choices in life. And I guess that's when we learn- and suffer for it! :-O

But what’s the alternative?

An analogy comes to mind: Many years ago I was in a surgical training program. I was assisting at operations, then I started operating myself under the supervision of an experienced surgeon. That was all easy and totally clear, to the point I sometimes thought “What is this guy hesitating to cut through there - it’s totally obviously correct!” Then suddenly I had to do this on my own - and suddenly things were a lot different - I had to make the decisions without being led by the hand - and I had to bear the consequences of my decisions.

The only way to learn is to make mistakes - as painful and unpleasant that is. Of course we need to mitigate the fall-out from mistakes (see case above), but it is not entirely possible to do so. Only by ‘bumbling along’ can we make the mistakes to learn.
 

Breo

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Thanks, beetlemanic. Interesting study.

I noticed with eg. my Hashimoto clients (throwt "Störfeld") that for them, saying No and setting healthy boundaries is a big issue.

It seems to me that developing an autoimmune disease is connected to this (neurotic) unability on an emotional level, as the immune system is being invaded by unhealthy influences. In consequence the immune system is stressed and cannot process these stressors any more. This (emotional) stress raises inflammatory response. A vicious circle starts. Stress inflames and inflammation stresses.

My experience in treatment is that its necessary to deal with physical and other blocks on different levels in the healing process holistically.
 

Julius

Jedi
Can't help but think about how the individual information field affects all the body systems. Personality traits as being able to say 'no!' mean for the most part, standing your ground. A choice, first made inside that beams outside. It is logical that if I make a decision to defend or protect myself and firmly believe it over time, this will certainly impact the physical body. The body is one of the first things to respond to the mind.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I'm really terrible at being able to set boundaries, and set them at all the wrong places and have paid the price for it by missed opportunities and so on. It's all kind of now culminating at this point where I see the fruits of my actions come to light so to speak. When they say hindsight is 20/20 they weren't kidding! It's been a nightmare rollercoaster ride so far and I keep making misstep after misstep as I bumble along.

Bless your heart. It sounds like you are having a rough time. You can share in the swamp or private forum and maybe get some feedback?

Absolutely. That would make total sense. If our brains are trained to follow, follow, follow and not critically think about difficult decisions for once, it wouldn't take much for a brain to melt into a pile of useless goo. Maybe character and personality are honed through the making of difficult decisions without immediately resorting to authority? The difficult part of making ones own decisions is the blow back that could potentially be felt from unwise and amateur choices in life. And I guess that's when we learn- and suffer for it! :-O

Yup. read my signature lines.

But what’s the alternative?

An analogy comes to mind: Many years ago I was in a surgical training program. I was assisting at operations, then I started operating myself under the supervision of an experienced surgeon. That was all easy and totally clear, to the point I sometimes thought “What is this guy hesitating to cut through there - it’s totally obviously correct!” Then suddenly I had to do this on my own - and suddenly things were a lot different - I had to make the decisions without being led by the hand - and I had to bear the consequences of my decisions.

The only way to learn is to make mistakes - as painful and unpleasant that is. Of course we need to mitigate the fall-out from mistakes (see case above), but it is not entirely possible to do so. Only by ‘bumbling along’ can we make the mistakes to learn.

LOL! Sorry, but had to say it: "So THAT'S why they call it "PRACTICING" medicine!"

Thanks, beetlemanic. Interesting study.

I noticed with eg. my Hashimoto clients (throwt "Störfeld") that for them, saying No and setting healthy boundaries is a big issue.

It seems to me that developing an autoimmune disease is connected to this (neurotic) unability on an emotional level, as the immune system is being invaded by unhealthy influences. In consequence the immune system is stressed and cannot process these stressors any more. This (emotional) stress raises inflammatory response. A vicious circle starts. Stress inflames and inflammation stresses.

My experience in treatment is that its necessary to deal with physical and other blocks on different levels in the healing process holistically.


Funny thing is, I hadn't thought about it this way before, that an autoimmune condition could be reflective of the psyche being "invaded by unhealthy influences" or even not knowing when, where and how to say "no".

But now that you have stated it this way, it makes perfect sense. And perhaps those with autoimmune conditions might find their conditions improving as they learn to set proper external boundaries???

Can't help but think about how the individual information field affects all the body systems. Personality traits as being able to say 'no!' mean for the most part, standing your ground. A choice, first made inside that beams outside. It is logical that if I make a decision to defend or protect myself and firmly believe it over time, this will certainly impact the physical body. The body is one of the first things to respond to the mind.

It sounds exactly right to me.
 

Echo Blue

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
This thread is very interesting to me. I have wondered for sometime now why some people develop dementia/alzheimers. I have one brother and 4 sisters. My baby sister, who was also a twin, died last year at the age of 58 from alzheimers. I am 14 years her elder. For most of my sister's illness, I wondered why she was struck with this horrible disease. College educated, ran her husbands two businesses. Why??? Interestingly enough, my sister's mantra for all of her adult life was "It's all about me"! So I sort of came to the conclusion that she probably created the perfect disease for herself.

I know that might sound cruel of me to think that, but it stuck with me. And, if you know anyone who suffered from dementia (and there are many forms) this disease is truly all about them. Anyway I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Saying no and speaking up for myself is something I've made some progress on, but I still have times where it needs more work.

I don't know where to put concern because I thought there was a link between rigidity and Parkinson's Disease. That makes sense because it's dopamine related, and at a base level dopamine is responsible for movement. Rigidity is lack of movement, if only in decision.
 

Breo

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Funny thing is, I hadn't thought about it this way before, that an autoimmune condition could be reflective of the psyche being "invaded by unhealthy influences" or even not knowing when, where and how to say "no".

But now that you have stated it this way, it makes perfect sense. And perhaps those with autoimmune conditions might find their conditions improving as they learn to set proper external boundaries???

Yes!. It works both ways. On working with autoimmune issues and observing these patterns with clients in many years, I developed a kinesiological testing method where the guiding question in each session for each client is: what choice of support (body/metabolism, psyche/emotions, energy/meridians and further, has priority in this session for opening a given "Störfeld/symptom/blockage?

I learned through the many similar recurring test protocols of AI clients that the immune system is THE zone where body, psyche and energy overlap or influence each other in a natural flow. Or not, creating blockage and disease. The immune system seems the foremost sensitive zone to all these influences. A field hardly studied from a holistic point of view, IMO.

Many of my findings (and developing this testing method) are influenced by your Work and our forum.
Some examples: virus - DNA/RNA snippets- through invading and attaching, have a negative impact not only on the inner physical terrain but also on emotions and thought patterns. A mild example would be, turning grumpy and foggy thinking while having a cold. Or parasites, who carry within them virus and bacteria. They thrive in a toxic environment of fungus and produce bio toxins themselves within their own metabolism that influence being. I observed that clients with parasite infections, in toxic peak periods, turn into indecisive, worried, weak willed people, rarely noticing these behavioral shifts. These bio-toxins have a strong effect of proliferating the psyche. Setting healthy boundaries can became not at all accessible or a much worse downward spiral may happen. These toxins not only create physical inflammation but along with turn psyche, thinking and energy flow (lymph-flow) on fire. In my own self work I observe that the original causes are manifold and do start in the non-physical and later on manifest and materialize in the physical.

To find the priority of support through testing kinesiologically taught me a lot on how AI patterns develop and can often be brought into remission. Choosing supplements that consider all these aspects - metabolism, psyche and energy flow. - does enable a natural development of the process for autoimmune and other inflamed clients. IMO this is relevant for initiating recovery. With this leveled approach on supplementing plus equally important techniques for stress release, like Éiriú Eolas with its essential emphasis on Vagus nerve breathing, bringing down all kinds of inflammatory symptoms is really feasible. Also gluten free or ketogenic diet for certain conditions is relevant. These combined tools can result in a behavior becoming healthier on its own, e.g. setting stronger boundaries mentioned in the article about Alzheimer.

(I sent 2 big boxes of holistic supplement samples for you all to France in Dec, still to be checked :-)! )
 

nature

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Hi Breo, thank you for sharing your experience!
I'm currently reading Rudolf Steiner that I discover for the first time ( I'm very late in knowledge) and what he says is close to your observations :-) ie the high implication of our spirit in the emergence of ilnesses. Even in epidemics!

To find the priority of support through testing kinesiologically taught me a lot on how AI patterns develop and can often be brought into remission. Choosing supplements that consider all these aspects - metabolism, psyche and energy flow. - does enable a natural development of the process for autoimmune and other inflamed clients
Kinesio is something I'd like to discover. Do you know a website or a book about how to apply it?
I'd like to know which supplements I must take for my gut issus (diarrhea since chilhood) as i tried many of them, without improvement. Even tried antiparasitic drugs.
I'm better on strict carnivore diet but it doesn't last within the minute I succumb to chocolate or nuts or beans, lentils, or cheese. Also hypersomnia, chronic fatigue, irritability still remain. So I think that maybe kinesio would guide me.
 

nature

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
How have you been when you totally avoid for a long time chocolate, nuts, beans, lentils, and cheese? Are you basically cured?
Unfortunately strict carnivore diet doesn't last long time (as I cook for my daughter too who doesn't do any diet) . In this short period, gut is very well (normal intestinal transit, no gas, no gurgling), but general symptoms (fatigue, irritability, memory loss, etc) are still here.
 
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