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[ Canada, Australia, Germany ] ALS Patients’ Personality

-The view that personality is determined by genetic traits and that these genetic traits may play some role in the development of ALS.

I would like to share an interesting article that caught my attention regarding the relationship between personality differences and the development of certain diseases. It is known that how a person copes with trauma and stress depends greatly on his or her personality. There are a number of physicians in the world who have paid careful attention to this aspect of research based on years of contact with patients, observation and insight. One such doctor is Vancouver physician Gabor Maté, who is internationally known for his research and numerous best-selling books focusing on the effects of lifelong, lingering trauma, but who has recently become even more famous for his Prince Harry interviews and frequent appearances on YouTube. For many years, while practicing medicine at Vancouver Hospital and family medicine clinics, he has been studying the profound physical and mental impact of trauma and stress, particularly the connection to autonomic nervous system disorders, various cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases (including ALS and MS).

As Maté has explained in interviews on YouTube and elsewhere, his coping mechanisms for trauma and stress vary greatly depending on personality, and he has noticed that people who suppress emotional expression are more prone to chronic illness. He emphasizes the Biopsychosocial Aspects of Pathology (biological and psychosocial aspects) and urges that treating health care professionals should focus on the role of psychological trauma and stress in disease as very important.

Below is an article from an online magazine called that introduces his theory.

Nice People Die Young: 7 Traits to Identify Your “Niceness.” | by Eva Grape | Invisible Illness | Medium

For those interested. Below is Dr. Maté’s wiki.

Gabor Maté – Wikipedia

The CDC ( Center for Disease Control and Preventiion, U.S. ) website also presents a research paper with similar content as follows. The eye-catching phrase, “Are ALS patients particularly ‘nice’ compared to patients with other diseases? According to the results of an online survey by researchers at the University of Sydney, compared to the target group, ALS patients were more honest and diplomatic in men, more emphatic in women, and lower than the target group when it came to neuroticism. Considering that genetic traits influence personality formation and that personality traits coincide with lifestyle choices, they conclude that there may be susceptibility to certain diseases depending on one’s personality. Many people who are considered very “nice” tend to suppress their feelings out of concern for others, do not speak up easily even if they have different opinions, and cannot easily say “no” to troublesome requests, which may cause a great deal of stress to accumulate in their daily lives without their knowledge.

Researchers at Martin Luther University in Germany have published a similar paper. According to their findings, ALS patients scored particularly well on Agreeableness, mainly because they scored higher on the inverse adjective pairs “stubborn-submissive” and “selfish-kindness. The main reason for the high scores is that the opposite adjective pairs, “stubborn-submissive” and “selfish-kind,” were used.The authors are still “open” to the question of whether personality traits have a direct impact on susceptibility to ALS. Readers may have an idea of what I am talking about, and of course there are those who argue that ALS is a very complex disease and that such a simplistic analysis is not science (whether you agree or not). I would be happy to hear your comments, whether you agree or disagree.

Oct 31, 2023 Reported by Nobuko Schlough

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