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Smell Loss Before Alzheimer's Used to Direct Therapy

By Rick Nauert, PhD
Featuring Dr. Devanand

A new study suggests an individual’s impaired sense of smell can be used to determine if they will respond to a specific type of medication to treat Alzheimer’s disease before it ever develops.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) explain that having an impaired sense of smell is recognized as one of the early signs of cognitive decline before the clinical onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the study, investigators discovered a way to use the loss of smell to determine if patients with mild cognitive impairment may respond to cholinesterase inhibitor drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

..."We know that cholinesterase inhibitors can make a difference for Alzheimer's patients, so we wanted to find out if we could identify patients at risk for Alzheimer’s who might also benefit from this treatment,” said D.P. Devanand, M.B.B.S., M.D. [read more]