Peanut Butter Used to Diagnose Alzheimer's
Early stage Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed with a simple test involving a ruler and cup of peanut butter according to researchers at the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste.
During cognitive decline, one of the first areas of the brain to be effected is the first cranial nerve, which is involved with the ability to smell. While observing researchers in the UF College of Medicine’s department of neurology, graduate student Jennifer Stamps realized researchers were not testing patients’ sense of smell.
Peanut Allergy Diagnosis: As Simple as Ara h 1, 2, and 3
Fixing Peanut Allergy by Eating Peanuts
“Dr. Heilman (Professor of Neurology and Health Psychology) said, ‘If you can come up with something quick and inexpensive, we can do it,’” Stamps said.
Clinicians would hold a cup filled with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter while patients closed their eyes, mouth, and 1 nostril. Using a ruler, the clinician would measure the distance at which the patient was able to detect the smell of the peanut butter.
Researchers found that those patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease had dramatic differences in performance between their left and right nostril.
“At the moment, we can use this test to confirm diagnosis,” Stamps said. “But we plan to study patients with mild cognitive impairment to see if this test might be used to predict which patients are going to get Alzheimer’s disease.”
For a video demonstration of the test, visit the University of Florida News.
UF researchers find that ‘peanut butter’ test can help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. University of Florida News.