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A study by Kristine Yaffe, MD, a UCSF professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology and biostatistics, concluded that a poor sense of smell greatly raises the chance of developing dementia later on in life. This discovery could prove to be an early detection strategy for dementia and aid in the prevention and treatment of the disease. The study included African-American and white older adults. Those with a poor olfactory sense were two to three times more at risk to get dementia nine years later. Those with moderate olfactory sense were a 1.4 to 1.8 times more likely to get the disease. According to Yaffe, this olfactory test is cheap and easy to administer, yet it provides a “highly sensitive marker of risk” for dementia.

Key Points:

  • 1Olfactory testing may be key in understanding and diagnosing potential sufferers of Alzheimer’s.
  • 2An extensive study, using a population of both Caucasian and African-American adults verified that poor odor detection may be linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
  • 3The study verified that those with poor odor detecting skills were at least twice as likely to have gotten the disease than those with good odor-detecting skills.


Researchers said the results support olfactory testing—which is simple, non-invasive and inexpensive—to identify those at risk for developing dementia.

Read the full article at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-02-poor-odor-identification-early-dementia.html

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