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Smell and eye tests show potential to detect Alzheimer's early
Date:7/13/2014

% African-American, 36% Hispanic) sample of 1037 non-demented elderly people in New York City, with an average age of 80.7, and assessed them in a variety of ways at three time periods from 2004-2006, 2006-2008, and 2008-2010. UPSIT was administered in English and Spanish between 2004 and 2006. During follow-up 109 people transitioned to dementia (101=Alzheimer's); there were 270 deaths.

At AAIC 2014, Devanand reported that, in 757 subjects who were followed, lower odor identification scores on UPSIT were significantly associated with the transition to dementia and Alzheimer's disease, after controlling for demographic, cognitive, and functional measures, language of administration, and apolipoprotein E genotype. For each point lower that a person scored on the UPSIT, the risk of Alzheimer's increased by about 10%. Further, lower baseline UPSIT scores, but not measures of verbal memory, were significantly associated with cognitive decline in participants without baseline cognitive impairment.

"Odor identification deficits were associated with the transition to dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and with cognitive decline in cognitively intact participants, in our community sample. The test was effective in both English and Spanish," said Devanand. "If further large-scale studies reproduce these results, a relatively inexpensive test such as odor identification may be able to identify subjects at increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease at a very early stage, and may be useful in identifying people at increased risk of cognitive decline more broadly."

Eye Exam for Beta-Amyloid Correlates with Levels in the Brain and Detects People with Alzheimer's

Recent studies have identified beta-amyloid plaques in the retinas of people with Alzheimer's similar to those found in the brain suggesting the possibility of simple, non-invasive methods of early detection.

At AAIC 2014, Shaun Frost of the CSIRO (Commonw
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Contact: Alzheimer's Association Media Line
media@alz.org
312-335-4078
Alzheimer's Association
Source:Eurekalert

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