A Recent Study Claims Losing Your Sense Of Smell Is An Early Sign Of Alzheimer

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According to a recent study published in the esteemed medical journal Neurology, loss of smell can be considered an early sign of Alzheimer. Individuals carrying the APOE e4 gene variant, associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, may encounter an intriguing phenomenon. 

Their sense of smell appears to be the first casualty as the disease progresses.

The research highlights that detecting odors requires two crucial aspects: recognizing and naming them, as well as simply perceiving their presence (odor sensitivity). Interestingly, carriers of the APOE e4 allele tend to experience a decline in odor sensitivity well before any noticeable losses in odor recognition, and even before any decline in cognitive abilities.

In essence, this early loss of olfactory ability could serve as a crucial early sign of Alzheimer, an indicator of potential thinking and memory issues in the future, offering hope for improved Alzheimer’s detection and treatment strategies.

Why Study Suggests Loss Of Smell An Early Sign Of Alzheimer?

The study involved 865 participants, researchers diligently monitored their olfactory abilities and cognitive function over the course of five years. The study honed in on the gene variant APOE e4, recognized for its association with heightened risk and Alzheimer’s and loss of smell link

Using DNA testing, the team identified individuals carrying the APOE e4 allele and compared their odor detection skills to those without the variant, factoring in variables like age, sex, and education.

Read more here: New Alzheimer Drug Is A Turning Point In The Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease, Says Alzheimer’s Drug Trial Patients

The results of the study about the early sign of Alzheimer were striking. Those with the APOE e4 gene were 37% less likely to exhibit good odor detection capabilities, and this decline was evident as early as ages 65 to 69. In contrast, changes in odor recognition skills only surfaced later, between ages 75 to 79.

Interestingly, once participants with the gene variant lost the ability to name odors, their decline in this aspect accelerated compared to those without the APOE e4 allele. 

Moreover, cognitive skills exhibited a faster deterioration over time in individuals carrying the gene variant, highlighting a compelling connection between olfactory decline and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease.

Research Claims Loss Of Smell Is An Early Sign Of Alzheimer

Dr. Leah Alexander, a reputable pediatrician from New Jersey not involved in the research, suggested that the vulnerability of olfactory neurons to beta-amyloid damage, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s, might explain the early loss of smell observed in individuals carrying the APOE e4 gene.

She pointed out that this study underscores the potential of a diminished sense of smell as an early warning sign, offering an opportunity for proactive measures such as lifestyle changes to prevent further decline.

Other Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects various cognitive functions and behaviors. Apart from the early sign of loss of smell, some other common Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and signs include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Poor judgment
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Wandering and getting lost
  • Trouble with visual and spatial relationships

If someone is experiencing any of these Alzheimer’s disease symptoms or concerns about Alzheimer’s disease, they should seek medical evaluation and guidance from healthcare professionals as this can be an early sign of Alzheimer.

Read more here: Top 10 Foods To Boost Your Brain Power and Memory

Dr. Leah Alexander emphasized that Alzheimer’s disease is a multifaceted condition, and there is no guaranteed method to prevent its development. Nonetheless, she emphasized the importance of taking proactive steps and being aware of one’s risk factors. 

By adopting preventative measures and understanding individual risk factors, understanding Alzheimer’s and loss of smell link individuals may potentially lower their chances of developing this progressive disorder, as highlighted by Dr. Alexander’s concluding remarks.


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