The first thing you can notice when it comes to this disease is the lost of the sense of smell. This was shown in a study published in JAMA Neurology, showing elderly people with lost sense of smell are more likely to have mental difficulties that can progress to Alzheimer`s.
It gives cognitive impairment, the Alzheimer`s disease, and possibly other forms of dementia.
The study was conducted on 1,400 seniors of the age of 79 with normal mental functioning. The test was conducted on the sense of smell, by scratching and sniffing different odors making them choose from four options. It had the smell of food and non- food odors like banana, turpentine, onion, gasoline and paint thinner.
The period was 3.5 years where the study showed 250 people developing mild cognitive impairment. These impairments can show problems with the memory and judgment. This can lead to dementia and other possible mental health problems.
From these 250 people, 64 showed signs of Alzheimer`s disease.
People that had the worse scores on these tests were 2.2 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment. The study showed that the bad scores with the smell tests were related to the development of Alzheimer`s disease.
The tests also showed the opposite side like the good smell test scores can lead to improvement with the problems of dementia.
This test can help mentally normal people to discover early the problems with dementia by conducting smell tests and prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer`s. This was said by the lead researcher Rosebud Roberts the professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic.
This standard can be used among elderly people, and if they show poor scores it can lead to mild cognitive impairment and later to Alzheimer`s disease. If some of the people already have problems with cognitive decline, this test can prevent them from progressing to Alzheimer`s and dementia.
This test is good because the Alzheimer`s disease and other forms of dementia are affecting the brain part that distinguishes smell. If this part is affected it can lead to dementia.
The lead researcher Roberts gives another explanation if a person gets low score on the smell test, which can be because of chronic sinus or respiratory conditions of the patient and not the dementia.
Further research needs to be conducted so that it can show the links between the sense of smell and the dementia.
About 10 out of 25% seniors are estimated to have mild cognitive impairment, and the most common form of dementia is the Alzheimer`s.