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Health & Fitness Researchers' smell test could spot adults at risk of Alzheimer's

05:20  28 april  2021
05:20  28 april  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Smell test that could help doctors spot those at risk of neurological conditions. Could also help track recovery of Covid patient's who lost their sense of smell . UK scientists have developed a type of smell test that could help doctors spot adults at greater risk of developing neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer ' s . The device, created by researchers at Queen Mary University of London , is made up of aromatic oils which are encased in a capsule that is packed in a strip.

Research presented Sunday at the Alzheimer ’ s Association International Conference demonstrated ways to identify the disease at an early stage without having to use brain scans. Two studies at the Copenhagen gathering showed a link between a weakened sense of smell and loss of brain cell function “So what we’re left with are a few drugs that help with symptoms only.” Cohen said tests for biological markers of the disease, like beta-amyloid plaque, could work to inform or reassure those with a family history of Alzheimer ’ s . Those at risk can also take steps to either prevent or delay the onset

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UK scientists have developed a type of smell test that could help doctors spot adults at greater risk of developing neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

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Using a smell test , the Columbia researchers examined more than one thousand elderly people who had not shown any signs of Alzheimer ’ s or dementia. Like the Harvard researchers , they found that those people who scored lower on the smell test were more likely to develop dementia and Columbia health expert Dr. Davangere Devanand says the smell test could be used as a the first step in detecting Alzheimer ’ s . “If further large-scale studies reproduce these results, a relative inexpensive test such as odor identification may be able to identify subjects at increased risk of dementia and

Olfactory tests could help doctors spot older adults who are at greater risk of developing dementia, researchers say. The sense of smell is known to deteriorate with age. However, researchers have previously found it might also hint at health problems: older adults who struggle to identify odours have a greater chance of dying in the near future regardless of Other studies have found older adults who have difficulties in identifying and remembering smells are more likely to have characteristics linked to a greater risk of developing Alzheimer ’ s disease even if there is no current sign of cognitive decline.

The device, created by researchers at Queen Mary University of London, is made up of aromatic oils which are encased in a capsule that is packed in a strip.

It works by crushing the capsule in the strip, which is then peeled back to release the aroma.

a man cutting food on a table: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The researchers said their device could also help in tracking the recovery of patients who have lost their sense of smell after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

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New research suggests that a faltering sense of smell might signal the early stages of Alzheimer ' s disease, and that an inexpensive, low-tech smell test could spot who needs more extensive screening for dementia. In two different studies, the decreased ability to identify odors was associated with the loss of brain cell function For Growdon's study, the researchers tapped 215 people from the Boston area who were between the ages of 64 and 88 and were participating in a research project designed to see whether results of brain scans are related to memory changes that occur in healthy older adults .

A blood test can spot those at risk of Alzheimer ' s disease before symptoms become apparent, researchers say. Currently, Alzheimer ' s is effectively diagnosed by ruling out other causes of mental decline. Even then it can only be categorically confirmed by carrying out a post-mortem. The latest study pinpointed a connection between changes in the brain accompanying Alzheimer ' s , and changes in the way cells communicate with each other.

While the sense of smell is known to deteriorate with age, it has also been associated with a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

It is thought the sense of smell is one of the first faculties affected by neurodegenerative diseases - illnesses that involve the death of certain parts of the brain.

In many people hyposmia or anosmia - a partial or complete loss of the sense of smell - can happen before cognitive problems related to Alzheimer's are detected and before the tremors and loss of motor function caused by Parkinson's are identified.


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The researchers said: 'Smell tests have the potential to support the diagnosis of certain neurological conditions, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

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Their two studies, presented at the Alzheimer ' s Association's International Conference in Toronto, Canada, suggest that the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) may offer a practical, low-cost alternative to other tests . In one study, researchers administered UPSIT to 397 older adults (average age of 80 years) without dementia from a multiethnic population in northern 2, 2019 — An artificial intelligence model predicts cognitive decline of patients at risk for Alzheimer ' s disease by predicting their cognition test scores up to 2 years in the future. The model could be used

(Newser) – Could tests as simple as a scratch-and-sniff smell quiz or an eye exam help detect Alzheimer ' s early enough to make a difference? Research to be unveiled at the Alzheimer ' s Association International Conference this week outlines several promising directions scientists are In one test , researchers say a quiz to identify odors correctly predicted which people already suffering mild memory problems would go on to develop the disease, though they stress that not everyone with a lousy sense of smell is at risk . Two other tests in the works involve scanning the eye for

'Unfortunately, these are not widely available, expensive, and take too long to administer in routine healthcare settings.'

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The researchers said that preliminary trials showed their device is easy to use, particularly for those with tremors, compared to the standard scratch-and-sniff smell test available on the market.

They added that it could also be used to help determine those who may have had Covid-19 and aid the recovery of those who have lost their sense of smell because of the disease.

The team said: 'Our capsule-based smell test can assist in the rapid diagnostic of various diseases linked to the loss of smell.

'These include chronic neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and acute respiratory infections such as that caused by Covid-19.

'For example, being non-invasive and less stressful, the capsule-based smell test has benefits over the nose swab in diagnosing Covid-19.

'This is an advantage for testing children in particular, as they are typically horrified if they need to do a nose swab.

'In addition, the test can be done at home. It can also help to track the recovery of the sense of smell from Covid.'

The findings are published in the journal Royal Society Interface.

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