2007-07-02 Study: Difficulty Identifying Smells May Signal Alzheimer's

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,287761,00.html

Difficulty identifying common smells such as lemon, banana and cinnamon may be the first sign of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study that could lead to scratch-and-sniff tests to determine a person's risk for the progressive brain disorder.

Such tests could be important if scientists find ways to slow or stop Alzheimer's and the severe memory loss associated with it. For now, there's no cure for the more than 5 million Americans with the disease.

Researchers have long known that microscopic lesions considered the hallmarks of Alzheimer's first appear in a brain region important to the sense of smell.(Read entire article)

2007-07-03 Poor sense of smell may signal Alzheimer's: study

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20070703/alzheimers_smell_070703/

Older adults who have difficulty recognizing such common odours as lemon, banana and cinnamon may be in the first stages of Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Difficulty in identifying odours has been associated with the mild cognitive impairment that often transitions to Alzheimer's disease. Research suggests that even before the symptoms of Alzheimer's develop, hallmark tangles develop in certain areas of the brain that may be associated with the processing of smells.(Read entire article)