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The Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center has set a goal of finding the cause of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other age-related diseases concerning brain disorder. The early detection of these diseases and research on changes that precede them can help prevent their further development.

Modern diagnostic methods for identifying the disease, unfortunately, detect it at the late stage, when significant changes have already occurred in the brain and are irreversible. There are a number of check studies that can detect changes before symptoms appear, but all of them are either expensive or involve complex invasive methods.

The researchers from New York State Psychiatric Institute have offered a completely new test, which will help detect Alzheimer's disease at the early stages.

The new test is based on the fact that the decrease in the ability to evaluate odors is an early sign of changes in the brain, as a result of which Alzheimer's disease develops. The odor identification test may prove useful in the early detection of this disease.

“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the potential value of odor identification testing in the detection of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease,” said D.P. Devanand, MD, professor of psychiatry.

What is more, the odor identification test is much cheaper and easier to use practically, than, for example, PET or spinal puncture, which gives an opportunity to detect the presence of beta-amyloid before patching.

The decrement in the ability to correctly identify odors indicates a subsequent possibility of the development of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The new method is able to predict memory loss in older adults, and it will let prevent serious changes or start treatment at earlier stages of the disease, which will ultimately be much more effective.

Development of new methods in the diagnosis of such serious diseases is certainly very important and urgent. Perhaps with this new test, humanity will be able to finally defeat a disease, the name of which sounded like a death sentence, and it will give people a chance to forget about such ailments at all.

Maryna Voloshyna, doctor, BiMedis company