Loss of smell early sign of Alzheimer’s

A pilot study involving 94 older adults, of whom 18 had Alzheimer’s, 24 had MCI, 26 other dementias, and 26 were healthy controls, has found those with Alzheimer’s were significantly less able to detect the smell of peanut butter. Peanut butter was chosen because of its purity and accessibility (not because there's something special about its smell!).

The test was undertaken by the patient closing eyes and mouth and blocking one nostril, while the clinician held a ruler next to the open nostril and moved 14g of peanut butter in an open jar up the ruler one centimeter at a time, as the patient breathed out. Those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease showed a dramatic difference in detecting odor between the left and right nostril. The average distance at which the peanut butter was detected was 5.1 cm for the left nostril, compared to 17.4 cm for the right. The difference between these (12.4 cm) compares to an average 4.8 cm for other dementias, 1.9 for MCI, and 0 for healthy controls.

Of the 24 patients with MCI, only 10 patients showed a left nostril impairment, suggesting that this may be an indication of who will go on to develop Alzheimer’s.

http://www.futurity.org/can-peanut-butter-smell-test-confirm-alzheimers/

[3609] Stamps JJ, Bartoshuk LM, Heilman KM. A brief olfactory test for Alzheimer's disease. Journal of the Neurological Sciences [Internet]. 2013 ;333(1):19 - 24. Available from: http://www.jns-journal.com/article/S0022-510X(13)00311-0/abstract

Related News

One important reason for the greater cognitive problems commonly experienced as we age, is our increasing difficulty in ignoring distracting and irrelevant information. But it may be that in some circumstances that propensity can be used to help memory.

A number of studies have found that physical exercise can help delay the onset of dementia, however the ability of exercise to slow the decline once dementia has set in is a more equivocal question. A large new study answers this question in the negative.

Do older adults forget as much as they think, or is it rather that they ‘misremember’?

A Finnish study involving over 1000 older adults suggests that a counselling program can prevent cognitive decline even among those with the Alzheimer’s gene.

A pilot study involving 106 participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project who had experienced a stroke followed participants for an average of 5.9 years, testing their cognitive function and monitoring their eating habits using food journals.

A small Japanese study has found evidence that those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) show a specific decline in their ability to recognize faces, and this is accompanied by changes in the way they scan faces.

Mild cognitive impairment (

A large study using data from the famous Framingham Heart Study has compared changes in dementia onset over the last three decades. The study found that over time the age of onset has increased while the length of time spent with dementia has decreased.

Data from more than 17,000 healthy people aged 50 and over has revealed that the more regularly participants engaged with word puzzles, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory.

Unplanned hospitalizations accelerate cognitive decline in older adults

Data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project has found that emergency and urgent hospitalizations are associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in older adults.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health news