When Life Hurts…

I came across these words, and they could not have been more timely. May they help when you feel weary and your heart aches.

Remember  The dementia patient is not giving you a hard time. The dementia patient is having a hard time.

A crying elderly woman covering her face

KRON 4 | Smell Test to Detect Brain Disease

KRON 4 Smell Test 4

A simple smell test could provide a quick and inexpensive way to identify those at high risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” is a willing test subject for the Alzheimer’s peanut butter test.

KRON 4 Smell Test1

Worldwide, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related form or dementia, but only 1 in 4 people with the disease is diagnosed.

Smell Test Protocol

Testing for Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can be time-consuming, costly and invasive. In contrast, this University of Florida study used a simple peanut butter test:

  1. Patient: Closed his/her eyes and mouth. Then blocked one nostril.
  2. Clinician: Opened the peanut butter container (one tablespoon).
  3. Clinician: Held the ruler next to the open nostril while the patient breathed normally.
  4. Clinician: Moved the peanut butter up the ruler one centimeter at a time during the patient’s exhale until the person could detect an odor.
  5. Clinician: Recorded the distance.
  6. After 90 seconds, the procedure was repeated on the other nostril.

Left-Right Asymmetry

  • peanut butter_dollarphotoclub_40526513_600x400The study revealed dramatic differences between the left and right nostril in patients with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In patients with other kinds of dementia, there were either no differences in odor detection between nostrils or the right nostril was worse at detecting odor than the left one.
  • When smelling the peanut butter, the left nostril in the Alzheimer’s patients could not detect the smell of the peanut butter until it was an average of 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) closer to the nose than the right nostril had detected the smell. *A normally functioning olfactory nerve can detect odors at about 20 centimeters (about 8 inches) from the test agent.

*  See your physician if you lose your sense of smell. *

KRON 4 Smell Test 7

Validated Five-Item Test for Dementia

orange-03_croppedIn University of Chicago Medical Center study, nearly 3,000 adults, aged 57 to 85, had to identify five odors (peppermint, fish, orange, rose, and leather). During a five-year follow-up, those that could not identify at least four out of the five odors were found to be more than twice as likely to develop dementia.

 * The smell test marks someone who needs closer monitoring and further testing. *

Scratch-and-Sniff Test for Parkinson’s Disease

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Smell Test to Detect Brain Disease”

Fit Minute | Check Cholesterol for Alzheimer’s Risk

cholesterol_dollarphotoclub_67703499_600x410

If you think getting Alzheimer’s disease is a just a consequence of bad genes or bad luck, think again. Researchers suggest you could have some control over your getting the disease.

A UC Davis study revealed that healthy cholesterol levels not only keep your heart healthy, but your brain too. It is the first study to specifically link cholesterol to amyloid plaques in the brain of living human participants. Deposits of amyloid plaque (detected by a brain scan) are indicative of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Amyloid Plaque?

Amyloid beta (or beta amyloid) is a protein necessary for normal brain activity. But, in the early stages of Alzheimers, this protein forms deposits, known as amyloid plaques, which disrupt communication between nerve cells in your brain.    Continue reading “Fit Minute | Check Cholesterol for Alzheimer’s Risk”

Alzheimer’s Predictor

Researchers are optimistic that they found a new way to predict Alzheimer’s disease. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter™, hosts this compact segment of TV health news in The Health Reporter Minute. Writer/Producer: Karen Owoc.