The medical experts say that impaired smell detection is not always considered as the symptom of early dementia and other forms of dementia.
According to the recent US research, older people who have a poor sense of smell have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and the other types of dementia.
The new findings are reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The research shows that it will increase the use of sniffing sticks as the individuals need close monitoring for the next five years.
However, the animals such as dogs can distinguish more than one trillion of different odors while humans are lacking the acute sense of smell.
The recent research suggests that capability of the brain of recognizing and distinguish smells can allow detecting the early damage caused by the neurodegenerative disease.
However, the medical experts say that impaired smell detection is not always considered as the symptom of early dementia and other forms of dementia.
The researchers examined around 3000 adults between the age of 57 to 85. In the long-term study, the researchers waved the “sniffing sticks” of different smell flavors like: fish, orange, rose, peppermint and leather surrounding their noses.
A person with a normal sense of smell could distinguish at least four odors out of five common smells.
The participators who failed the smell sense test were 2 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the next five years.
The researchers found, the majority of 78 percent people had a normal sense of smell and could identify the odors. While the 14 percent participants could identify three odors out of five common odors. 5 percent participants could recognize only two smells and 2 percent could identify just one odor. There was only 1 percent of participants who failed to recognize even a single odor.
The University of Chicago’s Lead scientist Professor Jayant Pinto said, “These results show that the sense of smell is closely connected with brain function and health.” Prof. Pinto said, “We think smell ability specifically, but also sensory function more broadly, may be an important early sign, marking people at greater risk for dementia.”
Prof. Pinto said, “Loss of the sense of smell is a strong signal that something has gone wrong and significant damage has been done. This simple smell test could provide a quick and inexpensive way to identify those who are already at high risk.”
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