Peanut Butter Utilized to Diagnose Alzheimer's
by Michael Potts, 10/11/13,

Early stage Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed with a simple test involving a ruler and cup of peanut butter as outlined by researchers at the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste.

In the course of cognitive decrease, one of the very first regions of the brain to be effected is the first cranial nerve, which is involved with the ability to smell. While watching researchers in the UF College of Medicine’s department of neurology, graduate student Jennifer Stamps realized researchers were not testing patients’ sense of smell.

“Dr. Heilman (Professor of Neurology and Health Psychology) said, ‘If you can formulate something quick and inexpensive, we can get it done,’” Stamps claimed.

Clinicians would hold a cup containing 1 Tbsp of peanut butter while patients shut their eyes, mouth, and 1 nostril. Utilizing a ruler, the clinician would measure the distance at which the individual was able to identify the aroma of the peanut butter.

Scientists found that those individuals in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease had extraordinary variations in efficiency between their left and right nostril.

“At the moment, we can use this test to verify diagnosis, ” Stamps said. “But we plan to examine patients with mild cognitive impairment to see if this test could possibly be used to predict which patients are going to get Alzheimer’s disease.”

For a video demo of the test, visit the University of Florida News.




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