Wednesday, October 11, 2017
While there are a few benefits to decreased olfactory sensitivity, researchers have determined that a difficulty identifying certain smells may be early an indicator of dementia. In a study of 2,906 men and women between the ages of 57 and 85, two consistent factors in the 4.1% of subjects who eventually developed dementia were a decline in overall cognitive ability and poor performance the “smell test.” Dr. Jayant M. Pinto, who specializes in diseases affecting the sinuses, cautioned that “sensory function is an indicator of brain function. When sensory function declines, it can be a signal to have a more detailed examination to see if everything’s O.K.”
See Nicholas Bakalar, Poor Sense of Smell May Signal Impending Dementia, The New York Times, October 3, 2017.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.