Loss of scent sense linked to Alzheimer's

July 4, 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: Exercise may help ward off memory decline

Related Stories

Exercise may help ward off memory decline

October 19, 2016

Exercise may be associated with a small benefit for elderly people who already have memory and thinking problems, according to new research published in the October 19, 2016, online issue of Neurology, a medical journal of ...

Study finds Alzheimer's manifests differently in Hispanics

October 11, 2016

Certain symptoms associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease, including agitation and depression, affect Hispanics more frequently and severely than other ethnicities. The findings, published in the Journal of ...

High blood pressure and brain health are linked

October 10, 2016

High blood pressure, especially in middle age, is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment later in life, according to a new statement from the American Heart Association.

Does junk food steal memories?

October 13, 2016

Obesity, a multifactorial metabolic disorder, is rapidly increasing in western and developing countries. Nearly 35% of adults over the age of 20 and 50% of adults over the age of 60 have a metabolic syndrome, which may lead ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.