BACKGROUND: Memory impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) is common, although few risk/protective factors are known.
OBJECTIVE: To examine relationships of personality to memory/non-memory cognition in MS.
METHOD: 80 patients completed a cognitive battery and a personality scale measuring the "Big 5" traits: openness, neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness.
RESULTS: Memory was most related to openness, with higher openness linked to better memory and lower risk for memory impairment, controlling for age, atrophy, education, and intelligence quotient (IQ). Lower neuroticism was also related to better memory, and lower conscientiousness to memory impairment. Non-memory cognition was unrelated to personality.
CONCLUSION: Personality may inform predictive models of memory impairment in MS.