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Recent studies on Alzheimer's disease discovered that losing your sense of smell could be an early warning sign of the disease.
On a study published by JAMA Neurology, researchers found that older people who had worst senses of smell are more likely have the probability to have mental difficulties which can eventually lead to Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Moreover, it is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
The study also found out that individual's sense of smell could be used to help protect from cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease.
1,400 seniors with an average age of 79 participated on the study. They undergo intermittent smell tests, in which they had to scratch and sniff different odors and choose the correct answer from four options.
The process includes smelling food and non-food odors like banana, turpentine, onion, gasoline, and paint thinner. And, after a follow-up period of 3.5 years, 250 people developed mild cognitive impairment.
Mild cognitive impairment is said to be an early stage of mental decline which can lead to dementia.
Out of the participants who found out to have mild cognitive impairment, 64 developed dementia including Alzheimer's disease.
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