Loss of Sense of smell points to Dementia

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Fish Stink

Scribe:  Lucy Osbourne

Email:  lucy@thethinkering.com

 

Can you smell peppermint?  Researchers from the university of Chicago Medical Center says along with sleeplessness, mental confusion and mood swings the inability to smell is another symptom of deadly dementia. 

3000 people were examined between the ages of 57 to 85, testing their ability to smell, fish, rose, leather, orange and peppermint.  78 percent of subjects named at least four out of five scents, 14 percent could have distinguished at least three, and five percent could recognize two, with just two percent only able to identify one smell. 

The rub is of those people who could only distinguish just one smell, after five years were all diagnosed with dementia.  Scientist say the sense of smell is directly linked to brain function and general health. 

Jayant M. Pinto, the lead author said, "We think smell ability specifically, but also sensory function more broadly, may be an important early sign, marking people at greater risk for dementia."

While researchers admit the sniff test is not a solid indicator of dementia, admitting participants could have lost their sense of smell for other reasons.  However, if you notice that you or your loved one is having difficulty identifying smells have them see their primary physician right away.  

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