For many, the idea of developing Alzheimer's disease is reminiscent of memory loss and general cognitive decline over time. And while this symptom can make early diagnosis difficult, scientists are beginning to better understand that there are other signs that the disease has begun. In fact, one study found that it was not a sign that people at high risk for Alzheimer's disease could not smell a particular odor. Read on to see the scent ready to use as a test of your neurological condition.
1. If you can't identify your gums, lemons, or petrol, you may be at increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
A 2017 study by researchers at McGill University used 274 participants with an average age of 63 years who were genetically exposed to the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Subjects were then asked to receive and identify scratch-and-sniff cards with highly identifiable and diverse flavors such as chewing gum, lemon, and petrol.
100 patients also accepted regular lumbar punctures, allowing researchers to measure the levels of specific proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) associated with Alzheimer's disease. The test found that participants who had the most difficulty identifying odors also had the highest protein content and were at increased risk of Alzheimer's disease in CSF.
2. This study supports the theory that Alzheimer's disease affects the olfactory bulb of the brain during early onset.
The results of a study published in the journal Neurology contribute to the general theory that Alzheimer's disease can affect the taste and odor-causing areas of the brain known as the olfactory bulb. The researchers behind the study say it may help link the medical term for anosmia, or odor loss, to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
"This is the first time someone has been able to clearly show that the loss of ability to discriminate odors correlates with biological markers that indicate disease progression," said Marie, the lead author of the study.・ Ellis Lafeil Magnan said. Press release. "For over 30 years, scientists have been investigating the link between memory loss and problems that patients can identify with different odors, which are known as the olfactory bulb (which is involved in the sense of smell) and the entorhinal cortex. It makes sense because (involved in) is known. Memory and olfactory naming) is one of the first brain structures affected by this disease for the first time. "
3. Scientists and doctors can develop odor tests for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
The authors of the study said that the results for Alzheimer's disease are much easier to detect early and diagnose in the future. "This means that a simple odor test may provide information about the progression of the disease, similar to the much more invasive and costly cerebrospinal fluid tests currently in use," he said. Dr. John Brightner, MD, director of the Center for Preventive Research, said. The co-author of the study on Alzheimer's disease at McGill University said in a statement. "If we could delay the onset of symptoms by just five years, we should be able to reduce the incidence and severity of these symptoms by more than 50%, but he continued to warn." The problem with odor identification is It may indicate other conditions in addition to [Alzheimer's disease] and should not be replaced with current evidence. "
4. General dementia may also be associated with loss of ability to discriminate odors.
This is not the first study to find a link between the sense of smell and cognitive decline. For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found a strong link between olfactory dysfunction and dementia. Researchers have collected a "nationally representative sample" of 2,906 men and women between the ages of 57 and 85. They completed a short interview and underwent a five-item odor test. Subjects were asked to sniff out "brand-like devices" and identify five flavors (mint, fish, orange, rose, and leather). Then I asked them to get four possible answers and identify which one smelled.
Five years later, the research team conducted a follow-up interview. They found that those who could not identify at least four of the five odors were more than twice as likely to develop dementia during this period.
"These results show that the sense of smell is closely linked to brain health and function," said Jayant M. Pinto, a professor of surgery and lead author of the study at the University of Chicago, Illinois. I have. "In particular, we believe that decreased sensory ability, in general, also decreased sensory function, may be an important early sign that characterizes people at high risk for dementia," he said. Told Medical News Today.
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