Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Sense of Smell – Research

Smorgasbord Health 2017

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.

Study Specifics

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:

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:

Thanks for stopping by and as always if you have any questions regarding health or nutrition then please contact me on


19 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Sense of Smell – Research

  1. I haven’t read the articles properly, Sally, but wanted to jump in with a comment based on personal experience and other things I’ve read. I used to get so irritated with the Alzheimer workers who insisted on how evocative the sense of smell is in bringing back memories. I agree, it is evocative but only if you have a sense of smell and I knew dad had lost his. Also, people with dementia have often been known to leave things to burn on the stove. It’s not only because they forget the stove is on but because they can’t smell stuff burning.
    Almost the last time dad actually could smell anything was when I crushed some Southernwood between my fingers and he remembered we had some growing in our garden on Islay. For me, it transported me back there. I bought some but the following year it was clear dad couldn’t smell it so it brought back no memories.
    Sorry, should get off my soapbox and go and read the articles.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree Mary… and my mother lost hers and as Bob was saying there is also a loss of taste too.. There is a natural reduction in tastebuds as we get older and we tend to want more salt and sugar on food. However, the sense of smell does remain in tact far longer. It will be very helpful if they can link loss of smell in our 60s and 70s to the possibility of dementia ten years ahead..The biggest challenge will be getting people to change diet and lifestyle if that is a contributory factor to prevent further damage to the brain. xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My Dad had a different type of dementia (vascular), but he did begin complaining of food being bland, indicating some loss of sense of smell, several years before hi memory loss became severe. Good article.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Sense of Smell – Research | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  4. My mum has altzhimers and has lost her sense of smell. Despite this mum is often calmer when she has very strong scented flowers in her room such as hyacinths. Such as cruel disease that can even take these small pleasures. Best wishes to all sufferers and carers. X

    Liked by 1 person

      • Someone has beaten us to the book… Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey is almost too true to life. My mum is quite robust and almost 80 so I think she’s in for a long haul. So sad, but like you say, there are certainly funny times. X

        Liked by 1 person

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