I have been keeping an eye on one area of research into Parkinson’s disease and other diseases that can lead to Dementia. The earlier that a decrease in brain function is detected the more effective treatments can be. There is increasing evidence to suggest that loss of sense of smell may be an early indicator of dementia. Here are two articles that you might find interesting to read in full.
Evidence: Olfactory Function as an Early Sign of Dementia
In a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital, published online in November 2016 in Annals of Neurology, principal investigator Mark Albers, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, wrote this summary: “There is increasing evidence that the neurodegeneration behind Alzheimer’s disease starts at least 10 years before the onset of memory symptoms.”
Developing an affordable, accessible, and noninvasive means to identify healthy people who are at risk is an important step to developing treatments that can slow or halt AD progression, he added.
Who they tested. Participants numbered 183, divided into four groups: 70 were cognitively normal, 74 tested normal on cognitive tests but were concerned about their cognitive abilities, 29 had mild cognitive impairment, and 10 had been diagnosed with possible Alzheimer’s disease.
Read the rest of the study: http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/memory/losing-sense-of-smell-is-early-sign-dementia/
Here is a link to a paper presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto.
Decreased ability to identify smells could be an early indicator of cognitive impairment and dementia.
This is according to research presented today (Tuesday 26 July) at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto.
Two studies looked at changes in sense of smell and compared it to two established characteristics of dementia – the amount of amyloid protein in the brain and the size of a brain area that is important for memory.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center used the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) to test sense of smell in 397 older people without dementia. They also took brain scans and looked for thinning of the entorhinal cortex, an area of the brain important for memory that is affected early in Alzheimer’s disease.
During the four-year follow-up period, 50 participants developed dementia. Impaired sense of smell and thinning of the entorhinal cortex were both significantly associated with transition to dementia, sense of smell also predicted cognitive decline.
Read the rest of the article: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/news/article/84/impaired_sense_of_smell_may_predict_memory_decline_and_risk_of_dementia
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