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People Who Failed To Identify These 5 Smells Were Diagnosed With Dementia

01 October 2017

The aromas in order of increasing difficulty were peppermint, fish, orange, rose and leather and could be used as an early warning system.

A study of nearly 3,000 older people found those who can not identify at least four out of five common odours were more than twice as likely to develop the disease.

A simple smell test can predict dementia with a high degree of accuracy up to five years before symptoms begin, research has found. In fact, almost 80 percent of those who correctly ID'ed just one or two smells developed dementia.

However, some experts have refuted the findings of the study stating that there could be other preseasons why people could lose their sense of smell.

A SIMPLE smell test could detect if you are going to develop dementia, new research suggests.

He explains that losing one's sense of smell is a strong indicator of "significant damage", and that this "simple smell test could provide a quick and low-cost way to identify those who are already at high risk".

Pinto underlined that the sense of smell may be the most "undervalued" human sense, and people start appreciating it when it's gone.

"Our test simply marks someone for closer attention", Pinto concluded.

"If they can be made more accurate, smell tests could be useful for detecting dementia as they are less invasive".

It is why there is a so-called "peanut butter test" for people with Alzheimer's who are less able to sniff out the spread from a distance. Then we could enroll them in early-stage prevention trials.

"As we age, it is common for people to experience changes to their senses and people shouldn't worry that this is an early sign of dementia".

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Over the years, scientists have studied the disease thoroughly and have often found signs other than loss of memory that can signal the onset of dementia.

Nearly eight in ten (78%) of those tested were normal, correctly identifying at least four out of five scents.

Around 78% participants recognized only four scents, 14% identified only three, and 5% only two.

Dementia and Alzheimer's are one of the most vexing problems for science, but a major discovery could help us spot it early and thus result in better treatment of the brain degenerative disorder.

Declining sense of smell can be an early sign of Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease, and these olfactory problems worsen as the diseases progress.

Both studies used a tool called "Sniffin'Sticks", which are like a felt-tip pen but are infused with distinct smells.

Those who got two or three correct were considered "hyposmic", defined as a reduced sense of smell, while those who managed one or none were labelled "anosmic", having lost it completely. The olfactory system or sense of smell also has stem cells which self-regenerate.

Losing the ability to smell can have a substantial impact on lifestyle and wellbeing, said Pinto, a specialist in sinus and nasal diseases and a member of the Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UChicago Medicine.

'Being unable to smell is closely associated with depression as people don't get as much pleasure in life'.

Lead author Jayant M.Pinto is confident that the quick smell test can pinpoint patients at a high risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease.

People Who Failed To Identify These 5 Smells Were Diagnosed With Dementia