Family & Relationships Struggling to distinguish the smell of bubble gum from petrol could be an early sign of dementia

11:17  18 august  2017
11:17  18 august  2017 Source:   Netdoctor (UK)

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Not being able to tell the smell of bubble gum from petrol could be an early sign of dementia . Your sense of smell may be a useful marker of Alzheimer's disease. More from Top tips for ageing healthily. 20 articles. 4 ways your smartphone is changing your brain.

Struggling to differentiate between the smell of bubble gum and petrol could be a sign of dementia , if new research is to be believed. Changes in the ability to identify aromas signal the build-up of toxic proteins in the brain - a hallmark of the devastating disease.

Not being able to tell the smell of bubble gum from petrol could be an early sign of dementia © Hero Images / Getty Not being able to tell the smell of bubble gum from petrol could be an early sign of dementia People who can't distinguish between the smell of bubble gum and petrol could be at risk of developing dementia, according to new research.

By the time people start exhibiting the symptoms of Alzheimer's (such as memory loss), it's almost too late – the damage to your brain may have already been happening for decades. That's why so many scientists are trying to find ways to detect the disease at its earliest stage.

But now researchers at the Centre for Studies on Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease at the Douglas Mental Health Research Centre of McGill University believe your sense of small may be a useful marker for early signs of the disease.

Sleep walking and talking could be an early warning sign of dementia, scientists warn

  Sleep walking and talking could be an early warning sign of dementia, scientists warn A new study suggests it could affect your brainThe research team called upon prior knowledge about the inner workings of the brainstem – a key region of the mind responsible for controlling dreams – to examine how dreaming disorders such as RBD can affect our brains.

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The scientists asked 300 people with an average age of 63 who all had a parent with Alzheimer's disease to take multiple choice scratch-and-sniff tests to identify smells such as bubble gum, petrol or lemon. A third of these volunteers had regular lumbar punctures to measure for Alzheimer's related proteins in their spinal fluid.

Those who found it hardest to identify the smells were those who had more biological markers for dementia.

Marie-Elyse Lafaille-Magnan, a doctoral student at the centre said: "This is the first time anyone has been able to show clearly that the loss of the ability to identify smells is correlated with biological markers indicating the advance of the disease. For more than 30 years scientists have been exploring the connection between memory loss and the difficulty patients may have in identifying different odours."

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Dr Carol Routledge, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK cautioned that much larger research studies would be needed to determine how recognising smells is affected by brain changes in dementia and to see if a smell test could be developed for identifying those at risk of developing the condition.

She said: "While an odour detection test may one day support diagnostic approaches like brain scanning and pen and paper tests, this test is not yet able to reliably predict who will go on to experience memory and thinking decline or develop the symptoms of dementia."

Related: Mental Health: Top facts from mental health charity Mind (provided by International Business Times)

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Failure To Identify These Common Smells Could Lead To Dementia .
People who fail to identify common smells could be at risk for dementia, study says.People who fail to recognize common odors could be at risk for dementia, researchers from the University of Chicago found.

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