Peanut Butter Smell Test
Heres how they conducted the test. The researchers asked each person to close their eyes, their mouth and one nostril. They opened a small container of peanut butter and moved progressively closer until the person could smell it. After measuring that distance, they waited 90 seconds and repeated the process with the other nostril.
In those with probable Alzheimers disease, the researchers had to move the peanut butter container an average of 10 centimeters closer to the left nostril than to the right nostril.
This is a very interesting part of this study, notes Dylan Wint, MD, a specialist in degenerative brain diseases who commented on the research. There is a lot of research showing Alzheimer-related brain shrinkage usually starting on the left side of the brain, which is where the temporal lobe degenerates first.
What Is Alzheimers Disease
A progressive neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimers is a condition that severely affects brain health and neurological function.
It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States .
As we age, there is a higher likelihood of memory problems but not to this degree.
An Alzheimers Diagnosis is associated with damage to important brain cells.
This damage results in a loss of cognitive skills, memory, and critical thinking skills that lead to dementia.
This disease is most commonly associated with older adults and seniors, with the average age of diagnosis at 65 years and older as with most other kinds of memory disorders.
However, early-onset can occur anywhere between 30 and 65 years of age however, this is rare.
Alzheimers Disease It is one of the most common causes of dementia among older adults, with Parkinsons disease coming in second .
Those who suffer from Alzheimers often experience poor quality of life.
Those afflicted with the condition must rely on caregivers or family for support or be admitted to a memory care facility for dementia support.
Unfortunately, Alzheimers is not a treatable condition, and it will eventually result in death.
There is currently no cure for the diagnosis but there are some medications that can help to prolong the progression of the disease.
Some studies have supported the use of antidepressants for those with Alzheimers disease however, research is mixed.
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:
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Do The Peanut Butter Sniff Test
Graduate student Jennifer Stamps at the McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity while working with Kenneth Heilman, a professor of neurology at the University of Florida.
The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve. This is often one of the first things that are affected by cognitive degeneration, and patients with Alzheimers disease often have more degeneration in the left hemisphere than in the right. Therefore, a pure odorant like peanut butter, which can only be detected by smell, makes a good method for testing smell sensitivity.
The test is conducted by using a container, enclosing 14 grams, roughly a tablespoon, of peanut butter. A ruler is held next to one of the patients nostrils, while the other nostril and eyes are closed. While the patient breathes normally the open container is moved up the ruler one centimeter at a time, when the patient exhales.
During the experiment, the distance at which the patient could smell the peanut butter was measured. The same was repeated for the other nostril after a 90-second interval. The clinicians conducting the tests were not aware of the patients diagnosis.
If only all tests were this easy!
How Is The Test Performed
During this test:
- The clinician will ask the person to close their eyes, mouth, and block one of the nostrils with a thumb over the nares.
- A ruler will be kept next to the open nostril as the person breathes normally.
- Then peanut butter will be placed in a small plastic cup up the ruler and will be moved at a time until the person can detect the smell.
- The distance will be recorded.
- The same test will be repeated for the other nostril.
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Can A Smell Test Sniff Out Alzheimer’s Disease
The sense of smell is one of the first things to change as Alzheimers disease takes root, even before other symptoms appear. Thats raised the idea that a scratch-and-sniff test that rates an individuals ability to identify odors could potentially detect the disease earlyallowing patients to begin treatment before symptoms become harder to treat. Columbia neurologist William Kreisl, MD, has been studying a smell identification test and explains what it canand cantsay about Alzheimers.
Whats the connection between smell and Alzheimers disease?
The olfactory bulbwhich sends smell information from the nose to the brainis one of the first areas of the brain to sustain damage in Alzheimers disease. Brain areas that receive information from the olfactory bulb, such as the entorhinal cortex, are also affected early in the disease. As a result, impaired ability to recognize odors often occurs in people with early-stage Alzheimers before memory symptoms are noticed.
Previous studies have suggested that individuals who scored poorly on the smell test were more likely to have had neurodegenerative changes in the brain caused by Alzheimers, such as a buildup of beta amyloid deposits, or plaques.
Can the smell identification test tell me right now if Im going to get Alzheimers?
We think this is a good first study in looking at the ability of smell test to predict memory decline, but we would need to replicate our findings in a larger study.
Peanut Butter Sniff Test May Help Detect Early
A tablespoon of peanut butter and a simple ruler may provide an excellent diagnostic test for early-stage Alzheimers disease, in a low-tech approach to measuring cognitive decline.
Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student at the University of Florida, generated the idea for the non-invasive test while working with Kenneth Heilman, a professor of neurology at the university, who told her, If you can up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it.
Given the decline of the olfactory sense with cognitive decline, Stamps reasoned that testing the ability to smell might indicate someones level of cognitive decline, a symptom of Alzheimers disease. Such testing proved to be relatively easy to conduct non-invasively given that such degeneration among Alzheimers patients typically occurs on one side of the brain, leaving an asymmetrical ability to detect odor.
Thus, one nostril might better detect peanut butter a pure odorant than the other.
In the small pilot study, patients closed their eyes and mouth and blocked one nostril, as a clinician tested their ability to detect the smell of peanut butter. With no knowledge of each patients diagnosis, the clinician held a container holding 14 grams of peanut butter at closer and closer distances to the patients nostril, pausing 90 seconds before moving one centimeter closer.
Of two dozen patients, 14 showed impairment with the left nostril while 10 did not.
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Of the 24 patients tested who had mild cognitive impairment, which sometimes signals Alzheimers disease and sometimes turns out to be something else, about 10 patients showed a left nostril impairment and 14 patients did not. The researchers said more studies must be conducted to fully understand the implications.
At the moment, we can use this test to confirm diagnosis, Stamps says. 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 Alzheimers disease.
The researchers say the test could be used by clinics that dont have access to the personnel or equipment to run other, more elaborate tests required for a specific diagnosis, which can lead to targeted treatment.
One of the first places in the brain to degenerate in people with Alzheimers disease is the front part of the temporal lobe that evolved from the smell system, and this portion of the brain is involved in forming new memories.
We see people with all kinds of memory disorders, Heilman says. Many tests to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease or other dementias can be time-consuming, costly, or invasive. This can become an important part of the evaluation process.
Alzheimers Peanut Butter Sniff Test
While there is no perfect memory loss remedy, there are several things that you can do to prevent it. First of all, exercising regularly can help keep your lungs in good shape. People who get regular exercise have better memories, and a regular exercise program can reduce stress. Additionally, exercising can help prevent memory loss by keeping your mind active. Here are some of the best ways to make your brain healthier and keep your mind sharp. Read on to learn more. Alzheimers Peanut Butter Sniff Test
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How Does Peanut Butter Detect Alzheimers
Researchers at the University of Florida discovered that an altered sense of smell in the left nostril may be a warning sign of early-stage Alzheimers. A study was conducted on over 90 participants who were asked to smell a spoonful of peanut butter from a short distance. As per the studies, those with probable Alzheimers disease had issues smelling the peanut butter with their left nostril. These researchers had to move the peanut butter container around 10 cm closer to the left nostril than the right nostril for the affected individuals to appreciate the smell.
Some participants of this study had confirmed early-stage Alzheimers disease, some were diagnosed with dementia, and others had no current cognitive or neurological problems.
The researchers have reported that only those with a confirmed diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimers had trouble smelling the peanut butter. The difference in smell acuity between the left and right nostrils is unique in this disease.
Some brain research studies showed that the shrinking seen in the brain afflicted with Alzheimers starts on the left side of the brain. However, this study needs more evidence.
‘peanut Butter’ Test Can Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease Researchers Find
- University of Florida
- A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can be used to confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found.
A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can be used to confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease, University of Florida Health researchers have found.
Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and her colleagues reported the findings of a small pilot study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
Stamps came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity while she was working with Dr. Kenneth Heilman, the James E. Rooks distinguished professor of neurology and health psychology in the UF College of Medicine’s department of neurology.
She noticed while shadowing in Heilman’s clinic that patients were not tested for their sense of smell. The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline. Stamps also had been working in the laboratory of Linda Bartoshuk, the William P. Bushnell presidentially endowed professor in the College of Dentistry’s department of community dentistry and behavioral sciences and director of human research in the Center for Smell and Taste.
“Dr. Heilman said, ‘If you can come up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it,'” Stamps said.
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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.
Initial Causes Alzheimers Peanut Butter Sniff Test
There are several different causes of memory loss. Some cause this condition in the young, while others may be more gradual. If you notice that your memory is weakening, its important to consult a medical professional. Whether the cause is mental illness, age, or a combination of factors, its important to seek treatment as soon as possible. People with extensive memory loss may have social difficulties and anxiety, which can lead to depression. They may be afraid they are letting their loved ones down, which can lead to anxiety and depression. Alzheimers Peanut Butter Sniff Test
Fortunately, there are many causes of memory loss, and many of them are treatable. However, if you are experiencing serious memory problems, you may need medical treatment. If you have been undergoing any type of medication, you should consult with your doctor. Some people have other underlying conditions that may be causing their loss of memory. Alcohol abuse, sleep deprivation, or other mental health conditions can cause memory problems. You should seek out a medical professional if you suspect youre suffering from any of these conditions.
Peanut Butter Sniff Test Confirms Alzheimers
- University Of Florida
A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler might be a way to confirm a diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimers disease.
Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste and the University of Florida, came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity when she was working with Kenneth Heilman, a professor of neurology at the University of Florida.
The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things affected in cognitive decline. Because peanut butter is a pure odorant, it is only detected by the olfactory nerve and is easy to access.
Dr. Heilman said, If you can come up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it,’ Stamps says.
For a small pilot study published in theJournal of Neurological Sciences, patients who were coming to the clinic for testing also sat down with a clinician, 14 grams of peanut butterwhich equals about one tablespoonand a metric ruler.
The patient closed his or her eyes and mouth and blocked one nostril. The clinician opened the peanut butter container and held the ruler next to the open nostril while the patient breathed normally. The clinician then moved the peanut butter up the ruler one centimeter at a time during the patients exhale until the person could detect an odor.
The distance was recorded and the procedure repeated on the other nostril after a 90-second delay.
Linking Sense Of Smell To Alzheimers
Researchers at The University of Florida asked over 90 participants to smell a spoonful of peanut butter at a short distance from their nose. Some participants had a confirmed early stage Alzheimers diagnosis, some had other forms of dementia, while others had no cognitive or neurological problems.
Of those participants, only those with a confirmed diagnosis of early stage Alzheimers had trouble smelling the peanut butter. Additionally, those patients also had a harder time smelling the peanut butter with their left nostril. Generally, the right nostril was able to smell the peanut butter 10 centimeters farther away than the left nostril. The difference in smell between left and right nostril in unique to the disease.
Sense of smell is often the first sense to go in cognitive decline, even before memory loss, which is why this could be an effective tool in the fight against Alzheimers.
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