Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Alzheimer's and Smell

“Deficits in odor detection and discrimination are among the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that the sense of smell can potentially serve as a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for early diagnosis of the disease."

alzheimer's and smell

The research on the inability of a person living with Alzheimer's to smell first caught my attention in 2004. At that time, I was trying to figure our what was wrong with my mother, Dorothy.

We did not have a diagnosis when I first read about the inability to smell odors as a possible sign of Alzheimer's disease.

As you can imagine, I immediately decided to give Dotty a smell test. Dotty really couldn't smell anything, even when I put something right under her nose.

For me this finding and realization was disconcerting . I was already at the point where I was starting to accept that Dotty was suffering from dementia even though we did not yet have a formal diagnosis.

As I am typing this, I am reliving those feelings. Nobody wants to believe or accept that a person they love is suffering from Alzheimer's.

It is not easy to accept, and it is horrifying.

Bing suggested this article for reading