Smell tests don't predict Alzheimer's, study finds
Misleading reports may create false hope -- or false alarm.
(HealthDay) -- Smell tests should not be used to predict Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, according to a new study.
Although there is a link between the two, researchers found other medical problems may cause people to lose their sense of smell, and it may not necessarily mean they will develop the progressive brain disorder later in life.
"A nonspecific association between poor smell function and Alzheimer's dementia is not the same as actually being able to use a smell test to predict Alzheimer's," Dr. Gordon Sun, a general otolaryngologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said in a university news release.
"Unfortunately, this misinterpretation of the research has led to the promotion of these tests by the media and public figures like Dr. Oz," he added. "This study helps set the record straight about where the evidence currently stands."
In conducting the comprehensive review, the study's authors examined nearly 1,200 articles dating back to 1984. Two studies that tracked patients over time and 30 studies that evaluated patients at one specific point in time met inclusion criteria.
"Understandably, researchers, clinicians and the public are eager for a simple, accurate, and inexpensive way to predict or diagnose Alzheimer's early, but we're not there yet," argued Sun, who is also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/U.S. Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan Medical School.
"My concern is that by promoting smell tests at this point, we create false hope or even false alarm among seniors and their families," he said. "Additional research is needed before we can rely on smell tests to predict the later onset of Alzheimer's."
The study, published online May 10 in the journal Laryngoscope, concluded that patients visit their primary care physician if they are concerned about their risk for Alzheimer's disease.
About 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, most of them aged 65 and older, according to the Alzheimer's Association. That number is expected to rise rapidly as the Baby Boomer generation ages.
More information: The U.S. National Institute on Aging provides more information on Alzheimer's disease.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- Early-onset Alzheimer's not always associated with memory loss May 19, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Tests may predict driving safety in people with Alzheimer's disease Feb 09, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Alzheimer's disease to quadruple worldwide by 2050 Jun 10, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- New clues to the cause of Alzheimer's disease Jun 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Brain starts shrinking nearly a decade before Alzheimer's appears Apr 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Relating physics forces and entropy
2 hours ago Consider proton and electron are seperated in space at some finite distance.Now suppose they released then the decrease in potential energy equals...
Force Between Two Concentric Solenoids
6 hours ago Imagine a finite length solenoid with outer radius R1 and inner radius R2. This solenoid has a time-varying current going though it. This solenoid is...
Synchrotron, question about insertion devices and electron velocity
6 hours ago When an electron enters an insertion device (wiggler and undulator) from the storage ring in a synchrotron the tangential velocity is equal to the...
Equating differentials => equating coefficients
8 hours ago Hi all, In thermodynamics one often has equations like A dx + B dy = ∂f/∂x dx + ∂f/∂y dy From which follows A = ∂f/∂x B = ∂f/∂y
The idea behind a reverse shock
14 hours ago So in a supernova explosion for example (5th slide) http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~burrows/classes/541/blastwavesChisari.pdf Ambient medium is...
Guass's Law for a charge distribution
14 hours ago First, this is not a homework question, just something I've been confused about for some time. I understand how to use Guass's law in many ways but...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
In the search for medication against Alzheimer's disease, scientists have focused – among other factors – on drugs that can break down Amyloid beta (A-beta). After all, it is the accumulation of A-beta that causes the ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—The way Alzheimer's disease is portrayed by advocacy groups and the media is having undue influence on the euthanasia debate, according to a Deakin University nursing ethics professor.
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 2
Cinnamon: Can the red-brown spice with the unmistakable fragrance and variety of uses offer an important benefit? The common baking spice might hold the key to delaying the onset of –– or warding off ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
An anti-cancer drug reverses memory deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers confirm in the journal Science.
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 3 |
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
19 hours ago | 5 / 5 (5) | 5
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
19 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
(HealthDay)—Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than those who never drive with a pet, researchers have ...
11 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (31) | 9 |
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0