The ability to smell varies from person to person. Some of us have a very keen sense of smell, while others are not terribly in tune with their noses. Your sense of smell also worsens as you age and can fluctuate during various phases of life, such as during a pregnancy or while taking a certain medication. These variations make it difficult to use a changing sense of smell as a symptom to help us diagnose ailments. Until now.
While your olfactory abilities cannot help doctors diagnose you, researchers have linked a reduced sense of smell to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. They asked older adults to smell 10 different scents and identify them. Those who had difficulty were more likely to be in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s than those who were able to correctly identify all the scents.
Learn more about this curious research finding in the video below and find out what you can do to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re concerned that your sense of smell may be deteriorating more quickly than it should, talk to your doctor about dementia screening.
Want to learn more? Click here to read about how the inability to identify the smell of peanut butter could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?