How Peanut Butter May Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s

By November 4, 2013Dementia

For decades, medical researchers have been trying to develop some sort of test that would help to conclusively diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. What they found is no less than astonishing: Sniffing peanut butter is a reliable way to diagnose the disease.

Researchers from the University of Florida recently discovered a link between Alzheimer’s and peanut butter. This makes sense when you think about it, as your sense of smell is often the first thing to go as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Armed with that information, researchers set out to explore the loss of smell phenomenon.

The researchers asked patients to smell a scoop of peanut butter, using each nostril separately. They used a standard ruler to mark the spot where people first began to detect the odor.

The Results of a Peanut Butter Test

The data retrieved from this study is pretty amazing. Participants who had a confirmed diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease were each able to smell the peanut butter out of the right nostril. They were then asked to smell the peanut butter using the left nostril. Overall, the right nostril could detect the odor 10cm before the left one. It’s important to note that the left-right differences are each specific to Alzheimer’s and not for other forms of dementia.

When all was said and done, researchers found all 18 patients suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease had some serious problems smelling the peanut butter with their left nostril. Participants who were diagnosed with some form of non-Alzheimer’s dementia did not show any difference in their ability to smell.

Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease

This simple peanut butter smell test is almost too good to be true. The researchers from the University of Florida are proud to endorse this easy and cost-effective testing method. Up to this point, there were not many options available to patients looking to obtain a definitive diagnosis. With this simple peanut butter smell test, millions of people around the world could potentially receive an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Researchers plan to take this smell theory and apply it toward other aspects of Alzheimer’s. They hope to see if the simple test would help to predict which patients will develop the disease. If proven accurate over a specific period of time this smell test could potentially provide an easy, affordable and effective weapon against Alzheimer’s dementia.

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