Left Nostril Smell Impairment in People With Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientific evidence supports that Alzheimer’s disease starts in the area of the left hemisphere of the brain that is responsible for processing smell. The disease then spreads from there to other areas of the brain, ultimately infecting the whole brain.
This discovery might lead to the development of a inexpensive and non-invasive early detection test for Alzheimer’s disease for doctors to use with their patients. A study of MRIs of brains afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease showed only a few small areas responded to the strong scent strong scent of lavender, while healthy brains were responded to a greater degree.
MRIs cost a lot of money though to test for alzheimer’s disease, and a group of scientists came up with an ingenious way to test for Alzheimer’s with just some peanut butter and a ruler.
In the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease it effects the left side of the brain more than the right. The left side of the brain primarily process smell from the left nostril, and the right side of the brain primarily processes the smell from the right nostril.
This led researchers to test the sensitivity to smell of each nostril individually. Participants in the study were instructed to close their eyes, mouth, and one nostril at a time.
A 12 inch ruler was extended away from one nostril. An opened container of peanut butter was placed at the end of the ruler away from the nostril and was moved one centimeter closer to the nostril after each exhale.
The elderly who did not have Alzheimer’s disease smelled the peanut butter when it came approximately 7 inches away from either nostril.
Participants who had early stages of Alzheimer’s smelled the peanut butter in the right nostril a little leas than 7 inches away, but only smelled the peanut in the left nostril when the peanut butter was around 2 inches away.
The result was the same every time. This is a simple test that can be performed at home until the medical industry develops a simple inexpensive test that can be performed in the doctors office.