Dementia comes in many forms, among which the most frequent is Alzheimer’s and it affects approximately 5 million Americans. Every minute and six seconds, an American develops Alzheimer’s. This disease is labeled as the sixth among the biggest causes of death in the country. It becomes worse as years pass, so it is classified as progressive. Progression brings worse symptoms which involve behavior and mood changes, unfounded skepticism, disorientation, memory loss and difficulties with swallowing, speaking and walking.
This disease can be very discouraging for the patients, their closest family and friends. Up until now, there hasn’t been a cure discovered, although early discovery and intervention can be a possibility of longer lifespan and better quality of life. The disease can be very hard to diagnose in its early stages. Memory difficulties are not necessarily linked to Alzheimer’s. Because of the University of Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, early diagnoses of Alzheimer’s are made possible.
The method can seem a bit odd but it is indeed effective. All that’s needed is a scoop of peanut butter and a ruler. This method for early diagnose can help people to predict and address this condition before it get too complicated and severe.
Here’s how it works
The research included patient with Alzheimer’s and various dementia forms. They were asked to have their eyes closed and try to detect a smell just with one nostril at a time. Scientists used a small amount of peanut butter to determine the distance from each nostril that the participants were able to detect the smell. The conclusion of the study was that Alzheimer’s affected people have complications in detection of smells with the left nostril, compared to the right.
One of the researchers described that all of the Alzheimer’s patients had normal detection of odor with the right nostril, while all of them had impairment with the left one. In adults, the distance is about 20 cm, and in average this was the dimension of detection for the right one, while the left nostril was 10 cm on average where they could detect the smell. This indicates something.
The question is why peanut butter, and the answer is that it is a very familiar, heavy smell. Alzheimer’s patients may lose the sense of smell before other issues occur. By using this method for early discovery of the disease, doctors can help to reduce the progressiveness of the condition. The peanut butter exam is quick and cheap method for medicine to confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.