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Combining olfaction and cognition measures to screen for mild cognitive impairment

Authors Mary Ann F Kirkpatrick, Wendell Combest, Marian Newton, Yvonne Teske, John Cavendish, Rhonda McGee, Danielle Przychodzin

Published 15 December 2006 Volume 2006:2(4) Pages 565—570


Mary Ann F Kirkpatrick1, Wendell Combest1, Marian Newton1, Yvonne Teske1, John Cavendish2, Rhonda McGee2, Danielle Przychodzin2

1Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, USA; 2formerly Shenandoah University

Purpose: This exploratory study examined the relationship between performance on the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) and the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) to identify a possible association between olfaction and mild cognitive impairment(MCI).

Design and Methods: 54 community-dwelling older (ages 49–91) volunteers were given the UPSIT and ACE.

Results: The ACE identified 7 subjects (13%) who had probable MCI. UPSIT total scores were significantly related to ACE total scores (r = 0.37, p = 0.005). Four specific odorants (mint, lime, chocolate, and cheddar cheese) from the UPSIT identified 4 of the 7 (57.1%) probable MCI subjects. The prevalence rate of MCI in subjects over 65 was 19.4%.

Implications: Selective odorants in UPSIT used with ACE show promise as a non-invasive method of detecting MCI in community dwelling elders. Detection of MCI could facilitate earlier interventions and treatment of dementia.

Keywords: memory, smell, elderly, community-dwelling, tests

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