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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 10 (1997), Issue 4, Pages 117-120

Premorbid Personality Characteristics in Alzheimer’s Disease: An Exploratory Case–Control Study

M. Malinchoc,1 W. A. Rocca,1 R. C. Colligan,2 K. P. Offord,1 and E. Kokmen3

1Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
2Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
3Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Received 22 February 1996; Accepted 27 October 1996

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Linking data from a case–control study of Alzheimer’s disease with data from a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) outpatient study, we identified 13 Alzheimer's disease cases and 16 controls for case–control comparison. The mean time between personality testing and onset of Alzheimer's disease (or corresponding age for controls) was 13 years in cases and 14 years in controls. Alzheimer's disease cases, but not the controls, had scores significantly greater than the normative reference on MMPI scales measuring Social Introversion (p = 0.05), and Pessimism (p = 0.01). When compared to controls, Alzheimer's disease cases had significantly greater scores on the Social Introversion scale (p = 0.03). Despite the small sample size and some design limitations of this exploratory study, our findings may suggest that subjects who score higher on these personality scales have a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease.