A recent study has found that a person's sense of smell could potentially be used to determine whether or not they are likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. It was found that the study published in the journal Annals of Neurology, explains that the testing is based on recognizing and then recalling certain distinct odors, such as lemon or menthol.
Principal investigator Dr. Mark Albers, of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), together with his colleagues have found that through the assessment of these abilities, it could enable them to accurately determine who is at a greater risk of developing the said disease. However, experts have also claimed that currently, the best way for the detection of Alzheimer's is by conducting a series of medical and cognitive assessments, and it can often take years to receive a clinical diagnosis.
How Was The Research Conducted?
According to Medical News Today, in the study, Dr. Albers and his team has allegedly included 183 adults which were all noted to be a part of ongoing studies taking place at the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, based at MGH.
It was found that 70 respondents turned out to have normal cognitive functions, 74 of them had subjective cognitive impairment, 29 of which were found to have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 10 of them were diagnosed to have Alzheimer's disease.
NHS reports that researchers had used a battery of statistical tests to see which factors correlated with which. The team claims that it was clear that their primary interest was to figure out whether the test results predicted people's diagnoses.
The Team's Conclusion
On the other hand, although the team acknowledges the fact that the results still needs to be further verified in a larger scale, they have also highly emphasized that their findings could possibly come at play for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, Dr. Albers also claimed that if these study results were proven, this sort of inexpensive, noninvasive screening could potentially be useful in identifying the best candidates for novel therapies in order to prevent the development of symptoms of this adversely life changing disease.