Smell, eye tests may indicate dementia


Smell and eye examinations can indicate loss of brain cell function and progression to Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.

Degenerated ability to identify odors can help indicating the development of decline in cognitive capacity of the brain and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers clarified.

They also revealed that the level of beta-amyloid detected in the eye was significantly correlated with the burden of beta-amyloid in the brain.

“Beta-amyloid protein is the primary material found in the sticky brain “plaques” characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. It is known to build up in the brain many years before typical Alzheimer’s symptoms of memory loss and other cognitive problems.”

“Our research suggests that there may be a role for smell identification testing in clinically normal, older individuals who are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” said the study researcher Matthew E. Growdon, B.A., M.D./M.P.H. candidate at Harvard Medical School.

Clinically, at this time it is only possible to detect Alzheimer’s late in its development, when significant brain damage has already occurred.

The experts believe that biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease may be able to detect it at an earlier stage.

Alzheimer’s is an age-related brain condition that experts suspect is influenced by both genes and the environment.

Alzheimer’s disease plays havoc with the metabolism of brain cells, causing them to stop working and lose connections with each other, and eventually, their death.

This gradual deterioration is what leads to memory failure, difficulty with daily tasks, personality changes, and other features of the brain-wasting disease.

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