ON THE NOSE
Having a poor sense of smell may be a risk factor for dementia. A study of almost 3000 participants – published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society – tested their ability to identify five scents: orange, leather, peppermint, rose and fish. When
the participants were followed up five years later, just over 4% of them had developed dementia. Compared to those who were able to recognise
all scents, those who performed poorly had twice the risk of developing dementia. The other factors measured included age, ethnicity and health, and
the participants’ cognitive ability.