Monday, October 17, 2011

Olfaction and Alzheimer's Disease

A new study has been funded to examine the use of olfactory testing in the earlier detection of Alzheimer's disease, one of my interests in neuropsychological assessment.

The study is being funded and run is Australia.

Here is a news report, from The Australian:

Research funding boost for Alzheimer's
October 17, 2011 12:00AM


"We are interested in developing a test that picks up Alzheimer's disease in the earliest stages, even before problems with cognition appear," he told The Australian. Adapting the strategy of the cardiac stress test that picks up heart disease in its early stages, Professor Schofield wants to see whether a smell test can identify people who later go on to develop Alzheimer's.

Participants in the trial would be asked to scratch, sniff and identify 20 smells embedded in a piece of paper, then they would be given a chemical in their left nostril that interfered with the part of the olfactory system affected by Alzheimer's. Patients would be given a further 20 smells to identify after the chemical was administered. If it proved successful, the test would cost just $35 and be much cheaper than imaging techniques used now to identify people in the pre-clinical stages of Alzheimer's, Professor Schofield said.


Read the full story

1 comment:

Rita said...

As someone who uses smell as part of sensory evaluation work, this sounds fascinating and credible.