According to new U.S. research, older people with a less developed sense of smell have higher risks of being affected by Alzheimer’s
The recent discovery could significantly improve dementia prediction methods, as it can translate into a step closer to flag and monitor patients that have a high risk of developing the disease.
Despite humans being able to differentiate up to a trillion different odors, the sense of smell is considered to be less developed than in other animals.
Nevertheless, the brain’s capacity of distinguishing aromas can be linked to damages that can further turn into different forms of dementia, research shows, as in some cases, the smell impairments can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
The study, conducted on 3.000 adults, suggested that people who could not accurately identify a variety of smells have higher risks of developing the disease five years after the initial test, as all of the subjects who were unable to smell any of the scents in the test have been diagnosed with dementia.
After the trials, the researchers concluded that the sense of smell is directly linked with high dementia rates, in proportions that depend on the status of the brain’s health.
Further research is needed, yet nevertheless the current study suggests that a simple smell test could effectively identify people who in need of help.
The recent findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.