ON THE NOSE

NEXT (New Zealand) - - Body News -

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.

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