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Loss of smell can be a useful indicator of the general health of older adults. According to the MedikForum portal, this is evidenced by the results of a new study. It showed that a decrease in olfactory ability is a common early indicator of brain-related cognitive decline.
As neurologist Alexandra Alekhina told the portal, a simple smell test can be performed that takes only a few minutes and that could potentially be used as a valuable tool for assessing risk, frailty or unhealthy aging.
Thus, study participants had to demonstrate the ability to detect and record five different odors during the study. They were also given six scents to measure how well they could detect the presence of a scent. These measures of smell are called olfactory sensitivity and olfactory identification. The health status of the participants was also noted in terms of frailty, an age-related syndrome of physical decline.
“Impairment of the functions of olfactory identification and sensitivity is associated with weakness. This shows that it’s not just your aging brain that’s at work here. But it can also be something peripheral, for example, something at the level of your nose that can predict our inevitable weakness and death, ”Alekhina said.
It is noted that healthy aging involves moderate alcohol consumption, maintaining social activity and smoking cessation. Attending regular health checks and screenings can also reveal the onset of a disease that can be reversed.
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