Scratch-and-Sniff Test Could Predict Parkinson’s Even Earlie
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Researchers at Michigan State University have found evidence that a simple scratch-and-sniff test could identify certain people who are at an increased risk of developing the disease up to 10 years before they are actually diagnosed. Previous research has shown an association between sense of smell and disease progression of up to four to five years.

The federally funded study, now published online in Neurology, the official publication of the American Academy of Neurology, is also one of the first to follow black people. It found that older men with a poor sense of smell were more likely to develop the disease compared to women. Also, people with poor sense of smell were nearly five times more likely to develop the disease than people with a good sense of smell.

1,510 white and 952 black participants with an average age of 75 were asked to smell 12 common odors including cinnamon, lemon, gasoline, soap, and onion, and then select the correct answer from four choices. Based on their scores, participants were divided into three groups – poor sense of smell, medium and good. Researchers then monitored participant health through clinical visits and phone interviews for more than a decade. Overall, 42 people developed Parkinson’s during the study including 30 white people and 12 black people.

Researchers believe that more work is needed to be done in this field and are working on to characterize populations that are at higher risk for the disease and to identify other factors involved...

http://www.newswise.com/articles/scratch-and-sniff-test-could-predict-parkinson-s-even-earlier
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