Warning Signs For Alzheimers Disease
There are several signs and symptoms that you or someone you love may have developed Alzheimers disease. These include :
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
- Trouble handling money and paying bills.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
- Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
- Changes in mood, personality, or behavior.
The earlier doctors can catch and begin treating the disease, the better off the patient will be.
So What Might Have Caused The Left Nostril Impairment
A lot of research on Alzheimer-related brain shrinkage shows the starting point on the left side of the brain.
In this portion of the brain, it is found the temporal lobe degenerates first and can result in a failing sense of smell on the left side.
This could be a groundbreaking early diagnosis method of Alzheimers dementia in older adults.
Although initial clinical testing appeared promising, the Alzheimers peanut butter test has yet to be duplicated successfully.
Unfortunately, the smell is also the first sense to decrease in healthy seniors as a normal part of aging.
Along with other diseases that can cause a dysfunction in odor detection, its effectiveness in clinical practice is still being determined.
Its also argued that low smell test scores are not an early warning of Alzheimers disease but is instead a sign of later stages .
Peanut Butter Alzheimer’s Research
So is there any evidence for this peanut butter smell test? Well, it does seem that one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s is changes in our sense of smell. Might this mean Alzheimer’s disease is caused by inhaling some kind of toxin? Maybe. Sometimes this is called the olfactory vector hypothesis of dementia and Parkinson’s diseases.
In 2013, researchers in Florida published an interesting paper called A brief olfactory test for Alzheimers disease. In this investigation, older adults some with Alzheimers and some without were instructed to close their eyes and mouth and breath normally as the researchers brought peanut butter closer and closer to their noses. They used a ruler to measure distance. They didn’t use much peanut butter, only 14 grams which is 1/2 ounce.
Here’s what they found:
People who did not have Alzheimers could smell the peanut butter in both nostrils when it was about 7 inches away from them.
But, here’s what happened in those with Alzheimers:
- They could also smell the peanut butter when it was about 7 inches away from their right nostril only.
- They couldnt detect the peanut butter smell in their left nostril until it was 2 inches away!
In other words, they couldnt smell the peanut butter in their left nostril until it was only 2 inches away from their left nostril.
This observation was seen in 100% of the people in the study who had Alzheimer’s disease.
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Peanut Butter Smell Test: Yes Or No
So, what’s the verdict? Can peanut butter predict Alzheimer’s or not? Because these two studies had different outcomes, it’s hard to know for sure which one is correct. I think we need at least another investigation maybe two to know for sure.
Even so, that doesn’t mean you can’t do this simple test right now. All you need is a little bit of peanut butter and a ruler. If you do notice a difference in which nostril can smell peanut butter, that doesn’t mean the end of the world because we are not sure yet what all this means.
Of course, you should always follow this up with your own doctor to get her/his insights. Trust me they are aware of this research.
Why Was The Research Conducted
Jennifer J. Stamps who was the leader of the study opted to use the peanut butter test because from her research after she concluded that smell is dependent on olfactory nerve.
She noted that this was among the first thing that cognitive decline affects.
Additionally, the temporal lobes front part is one of the first regions in the brain to degenerate because of the illness.
She thought of the idea when working with Dr, Kenneth Heilman a distinguished neurology and health psychology professor.
This is after observing that they were not testing patients in the clinic for their sense of smell. She chose the peanut butter because according to her, the butter is a pure odorant that is easy to access and the olfactory nerve can detect it.
While conducting the study, the experts thought that there would be a difference in the left nostril because the neurodegenerative disease affects the left side of the brain.
However, they found out that people with Alzheimers were not able to smell peanut butter through their left and right nostrils as well.
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Peanut Butter Alzheimer’s Test Not Passing The Sniff Test
“Could a scoop of peanut butter and a ruler become that elusive test?”
If you treat the elderly, or any member of the growing number of families devastated by Alzheimer’s disease, you may be asked some version of that question, as posed by CBS News, in the coming weeks. You can thank media coverage of a study in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Neurological Sciences titled “A Brief Olfactory Test for Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Here’s that brief olfactory test, as the CBS headline suggests: “A container of 14 g of peanut butter was opened, held medially at the bottom of a 30 cm ruler, and moved up 1 cm at a time during the participants’ exhale. Upon odor detection, the distance between the subject’s nostril and container was measured.”
Reading CBS News’s headline, “Cheap Alzheimer’s Test Made From Peanut Butter and Ruler, Researchers Report,” reminded me of the old adage “Fast, good, or cheap: Pick two.”
A couple things made me wonder just how much of an advance this was:
- The study was small, fewer than 100 people all together, divided into four groups ranging from probable Alzheimer’s to healthy controls.
- The journal — which is not exactly a core clinical title — is ranked in the bottom third of neuroscience journals by Thomson Scientific’s impact factor, 162 out of 252. Wouldn’t the researchers have tried for a more prestigious, and clinical, journal first?
So we asked a range of Alzheimer’s researchers what they thought. Here’s a sampling:
Peanut Butter Isnt The Be
Though the results of the peanut butter test are certainly intriguing, many experts warn against jumping to conclusions. The study sample size was too small and the findings have not been verified. They also mention that there are other diseases that will produce a similar result.
It would get you into that ballpark of Alzheimers versus Lewy body disease, but it wouldnt help you distinguish between those two, said Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. David Knopman.
For now, the University of Florida clinic uses the peanut butter test as a part of their diagnostics for detecting Alzheimers disease. Camps, however, reminds us that having slight differences in the smelling capacity of each nostril is normal. She warns against anyone using this method in an attempt to self-diagnose at home.
Sources:What Is Alzheimers Disease? Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Oct 26, 2020.Peanut butter test can help diagnose Alzheimers disease, researchers find Science Daily. University of Florida. Oct 20, 2013.Unirhinal Olfactory Testing For The Diagnostic Workup of Mild Cognitive Impairment. Pubmed. 2015.How A Peanut Butter Test May Detect Alzheimers. Cleveland Clinic. December 15, 2020.Why A Peanut Butter Test For Alzheimers Might Be Too Simple. NPR. Maanvi Singh. October 11, 2013.
Also Check: Etiology Of Alzheimers
Peanut Butter Test The Easiest Way To Detect Early Alzheimers Everyone Must Watch This
Alzheimers disease is a disorder that may cause brain cells to get wasted away and die later. For this, the patient may suffer from a decline in thinking, social skills, and overall behavior.
At an early stage, a simple sign could forget recent events and conversations. In the latter stages, an Alzheimers patient would develop severe memory impairment, and they might even lose the ability to carry every days task.
Medications may slow down the process, or rather improve the symptoms temporarily. However, there is no such treatment to cure Alzheimers disease.
Peanut Butter Test The Easiest Way To Detect Early Alzheimers. Everyone Must Watch This!
Especially in the later stages, complications increase, and the condition may even cause death. Its because of dehydration, malnutrition, or some infection.
Some common reasons for Alzheimers are because of the combination of genetics, lifestyle, and overall environment factors affecting the brain cells.
What Peanut Butter Has To Do With Alzheimer’s
Researchers at the University of Florida were able to use a basic jar of peanut butter to determine if patients cognitive impairment was due to early stages of Alzheimers disease according to a recent report on a study they originally conducted back in 2013.
Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student, discovered the technique. She was surprised to see that patients werent being tested for their sense of smell. According to Medical News Today, the first cranial nerve, which is often affected early on during cognitive decline, also controls smell making it an interesting way to test for impairment.
Choosing peanut butter because it is considered a pure odorant that is, one only detected by the olfactory nerve, doctors tested patients sense of smell by simply using a ruler to determine how far away a sample of peanut butter was from each nostril before it was recognized.
Interestingly, unlike other patients, those in the early stages of Alzheimers had far greater impairment in their left nostril than in their right nostril. At the moment, we can use this test to confirm diagnosis. But we plan to study patients with mild cognitive impairment to see if this test might be used to predict which patients are going to get Alzheimer’s disease, Stamps said. More tests are needed, but the researchers hope this method could eventually result in a non-invasive test for determining a persons likeliness of developing the disease.
Good luck topping that, jelly!
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Is The Study Reliable
The study needs to replicate the results using larger sample sizes to confirm the accuracy of the peanut butter test. Also, with smell impairments being much greater in some other forms of dementia, the test may give variable results and would make the diagnosis difficult. The test, unfortunately, cannot differentiate between different types of dementia.
Other most accurate early-stage diagnostic tests for Alzheimers are checking for an amyloid deposit on the positron emission tomography scan. However, these are more expensive, uncomfortable, and not easily available or accessible everywhere, making the diagnosis and research difficult.
The peanut smell test fulfills the need for inexpensive, accurate, and accessible testing in the early stages of Alzheimers to prevent treatment delay and future memory loss, so it helps with selective screening.
Is Alzheimers Diagnosed With A Blood Test
The other biomarker test, uses either a blood sample or, more commonly, a cerebral spinal fluid sample. The CSF sample is obtained via a spinal tap.
We look for markers of Alzheimers disease in the blood and the spinal fluid samples. These are pieces of the plaques and tangles that might be circulating in the blood or spinal fluid.
Therefore, the patient can have a thinking and memory test, and then typically the physician will add on additional tests. One could be a PET scan of the brain and the other one could be a test of either the blood or cerebral spinal fluid.
Diagnosing Alzheimers disease is a process. And its typically a combination of these three approaches: Cognitive Testing, PET biomarkers and fluid either blood or spinal biomarkers.
In all cases, personal results are compared to norms. The person is compared to other healthy people in the population that are approximately just like them. Neurologists look at the levels of all of the things that they are measuring to determine if they think its Alzheimers disease.
And thats how a diagnosis goes.
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Research On Sense Of Smell Disputed
Some neurologists, like Dr. David Knopman from the Mayo Clinic, are skeptical that a simple process can diagnose such a complicated disease.
Also, with smell impairments being much greater in other forms of dementia, some neurologists believe that while it could diagnose cognitive impairment, the test unfortunately cant differentiate between .
At this point, the test can only be used to confirm an Alzheimers diagnosis, and is not a way to diagnose the disease.
What Is The Sage Test
In an attempt to find early detection methods for more treatment options, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center developed the SAGE test.
The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination is a paper test that evaluates your thinking abilities, problem-solving and other aspects of cognition and brain function.
It was designed to help doctors understand how the brain is functioning and is a helpful screening tool for mild cognitive impairment .
MCI can sometimes be a sign that can help with the early diagnosis of Alzheimers disease.
This test is offered for free at their facility and is practiced worldwide.
You can also download test varieties online, with four different versions of cognitive assessments to choose from.
Other cognitive assessments that can be used include online assessments that can be completed at home such as the CPCOG screening tool for dementia.
The General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition , the Memory Impairment Screen, and the Mini-COG are 3 screening tools recommended by the Alzheimers Association.
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Alzheimer’s Test: Can You Smell Peanut Butter
How’s this for a low-tech way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s: sniffing peanut butter. Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered some merit to the bizarre-sounding notion, reports Futurity. Knowing that patients in cognitive decline often lose their sense of smell first, the researchers had patients sniff a dollop of peanut butter with each nostril separately. They used a ruler to measure the point at which people detected the odor .
The weird result: People with a confirmed diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s could smell it fine with their right nostril, but not their left, say the UF scientists. Generally speaking, the right nostril picked up on it 10cm before the left one. Also of note: The left-right difference is specific to Alzheimer’s, and doesn’t apply to other forms of dementia.
“At the moment, we can use this test to confirm diagnosis,” says the lead researcher. “But we plan to study patients with mild cognitive impairment to see if this test might be used to predict which patients are going to get Alzheimer’s disease.” Bravo, says Dan Nosowitz at PopSci. This could end up being an easy, cheap, and effective weapon in the Alzheimer’s fight.
Another recent study found what the researcher calls a “pretty scary” result: Too much copper in the diet may increase Alzheimer’s risk, reports Newser, a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
Smelling Peanut Butter To Test For Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists have come up with a cheap and non-invasive way to determine if someone might be suffering from the effects of Alzheimers disease. The method is based on research that has shown that Alzheimers not only leads to loss of memory but also loss of the sense of smell. Watch to find out more.
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Uf Study Uses Peanut Butter To Help Confirm Alzheimers Diagnoses
October 9, 2013Health and Science
One tablespoon of peanut butter and a ruler can help confirm early Alzheimers disease diagnoses, according to University of Florida researchers.
Jennifer Stamps, a UF graduate student at the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, said she got the idea to use peanut butter to test smell sensitivity when working with Dr. Kenneth Heilman, a professor in UF College of Medicines department of neurology.
While shadowing in Heilmans clinic, Stamps said she saw that patients suffering from cognitive deficiencies were not being tested for their sense of smell, which is one of the first things affected during a cognitive decline, according to a press release.
For people diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, the part of the temporal lobe evolved from the smell system is one of the first parts of the brain that degenerates. It is also the same portion of the brain that takes part in forming new memories.
Stamps said she decided to use peanut butter for her test because it is easy to access and is a pure odorant detected only by the olfactory nerve.
Dr. Heilman said, If you can come up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it, Stamps said.
A clinician administered the test to patients using about one tablespoon of peanut butter and a metric ruler to conduct the study.
The distance was recorded and the same steps were taken with the patients second nostril.
Can A Primary Care Physician Diagnose You
Yes. A primary care physician needs to be able to diagnose Alzheimers particularly when theres not a neurologist practice nearby. Perhaps in some of the rural areas of the country.
But that diagnosis of Alzheimers from that PCP may be considered a preliminary diagnosis. Oftentimes the PCP will refer you to a neurologist to confirm their suspicions.
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