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article imageIs it possible to 'sniff out' Alzheimer’s?

By Tim Sandle     Oct 12, 2013 in Health
A remarkable and inexpensive peanut-butter smell test could help diagnose the neurodegenerative disease Alzheimer’s in its early stages.
Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste and the University of Florida (UF) found that peanut butter can help identify those with Alzheimer’s disease. The results were shown in a small pilot study of patients displaying signs of cognitive decline, according to the NPR Blog.
For the research, USA Today summarizes, 18 patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease, 24 with mild cognitive impairment, 26 with other causes of dementia, and 26 matched controls, were used and subjected to the smell tests. During the tests, each subject closed their eyes and a tablespoon of peanut butter was placed at a set distance from their nose.
The researchers found that those with developed Alzheimer's disease could not smell the peanut butter, whereas early-stage Alzheimer’s disease patients had dramatically different smell sensitivity between the right and left nostrils, with the left regularly being more severely impaired. The other patients tested displayed no such difference in smell sensitivity.
The basis of the test is that neurodegenerative disorders are often accompanied by a loss of smell. The findings have been published in the Journal of Neurological Sciences. The paper is titled "A brief olfactory test for Alzheimer's disease."
More about Alzheimers, Alzheimers Disease, Smell, Peanuts, Neurodegenrative disease
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