Researchers use peanut butter to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer diseasesResearchers have used peanut butter and a ruler to confirm the diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer's disease in the US.

Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and colleagues found in their research that peanut butter was adequate to test smell sensitivity.

Stamps was working with Dr. Kenneth Heilman, the James E. Rooks distinguished professor of neurology and health psychology in the University of Florida's College of Medicine, and enquired why the patients were not being tested for smell. The ability to smell is linked with first cranial nerve is the first things to get affected in cognitive decline.

In the study, the patients sniff peanut butter with each nostril while the other was closed and the researchers used a ruler to measure the point at which the people detected the smell of the peanut butter. The study showed that those with early-stage Alzheimer's were able to smell peanut butter with their right nostril but not with their left nostril.

The findings of the research were published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.

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