Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Old people's smell

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is increasingly recognised as a precursor to Alzheimer's disease but there has been little research into how this transition occurs and therefore little knowledge about the symptoms to look out for. A declining ability to distinguish between different smells has been linked to MCI and a study of 589 elderly people in the U.S. has now found that impaired odour identification was associated with a lower level of cognitive function at the start of the study and a more rapid decline in cognition as the study (which lasted five years) went on.

Wilson, Robert S. ... [et al] - Olfactory identification and incidence of mild cognitive impairment in older age Archives of General Psychiatry , July 2007, 64(7), 802-808

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