The Peanut Butter Test

By Anupum Pant

What better way to detect Alzheimer’s than to make the subjects smell a table-spoon of peanut butter. It works and could be the next-gen low-cost and non-invasive way to test for Alzheimer’s.

Researchers at University of Florida designed a test where a subject was asked to close their eyes and one of their nostrils at a time. Once that was done, a cup full of peanut butter was continually moved towards their open nostril. At the point where they said they could detect the odour, the distance of the cup from their nostril was measured. The same was done next for the other nostril.

They found that the people who were affected with Alzheimer’s had a significant asymmetry in their ability to smell from the left and right nostril. On an average the right nostril of an Alzheimer’s patient could detect the peanut butter from about 20 cm, while the left could do it from about 10 cm. That’s is an asymmetry they consider significant. Their experiment was based on this…

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.

In the future, this could be a great and cheap way to screen for Alzheimer’s. Here is how it is done.

via [UFL news]

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