Loss of scent sense linked to Alzheimer's

Jul 04, 2007

A new study shows seniors who have trouble identifying scents are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than people who knew soap smell from cinnamon.

They also were at higher risk of mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often strikes before Alzheimer's, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Researchers followed 589 Chicago-area people who were an average age of 80 and began the study with no cognitive impairments.

The odors volunteers were asked to identify were banana, onion, soap, cinnamon, lemon, black pepper, smoke, paint thinner, pineapple, gasoline, rose and chocolate.

Test subjects who got four out of 12 wrong were 50 percent more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those who got only one wrong.

Although there is no way to prevent Alzheimer's, there are several drugs in development that might be able to slow the progression of the disease if it is detected early enough, which is one reason why scientists are looking into ways to test who is at risk for the illness.

The Rush University Medical Center study is published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers develop new DNA sequencing method to diagnose tuberculosis

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Screen women for chlamydia, gonorrhea, experts say

26 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—All sexually active women should be screened for two of the most common sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia and gonorrhea, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services ...

Noninvasive devices may help migraines, FDA says

56 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Two new prescription devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may provide some relief for people with migraine headaches who don't tolerate migraine medications well, ...

User comments : 0