Trouble Identifying Smells Could be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s Diseaseadmin
Scientists at McGill University in Quebec have discovered that a loss of smell could be an early indication of Alzheimer’s disease. While most researchers and diagnostic test tend to focus on memory, smell could be an even earlier indicator of the disease. A study, published in Neurology, examined 300 people who were at risk of Alzheimer’s disease because they had a parent who had suffered from it.
The researchers administered a multiple-choice scratch and sniff test. They then followed up with regular lumbar puncture tests which tested for proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid, IFLScience.com reported. “The researchers found that those with the most difficulty identifying odors were those in whom other, purely biological indicators of [Alzheimer’s disease], were most evident,” a statement released by McGill said. “This is the first time that anyone has been able to show clearly that the loss of the ability to identify smells is correlated with biological markers indicating the advance of the disease,” first author of the study Marie-Elyse Lafaille-Magnan said in the same statement.
More research needs to be done in order to determine whether or not a person’s sense of smell diminishes as the Alzheimer’s disease progresses, however, they currently believe this smell test “could be used to track the disease before other symptoms even appear.”