Wednesday, November 06, 2013

2107 Nut Detector

Used to be that math was considered a good way of testing for Alzheimer's. But a new way of detecting the disease very early has been discovered. You might call it a Nut Detector. Jennifer Stamps of the University of Florida had the idea, once she noted that a large percentage of mentally affected elderly patients had very little sense of smell, that maybe the loss of smell and Alzheimer's were related.

She found that a good way to detect Alzheimer's very early on was to have them sniff peanut butter. I know, it sounds nuts, but it works. In fact, it sounds like one of those naturopathic remedy things where a taste of a poison that mimics the symptoms of your disease will cure your disease. Afraid you're going a little nuts? Come to my office, let's smell some nuts to find out. 

Here's how it worked. A clinician would hold a tablespoon of peanut butter in front of one nostril, the other one blocked. Then measure with a ruler how close the dollop had to be before it could be detected. They then repeated the process with the other nostril after 90 seconds. Those in the early stages of Alzheimer's had a 10 centimeter difference between left and right nostril. 

If the left was worse, it indicated that the mild cognitive impairment the patient had already would likely develop into Alzheimer's. If the right was worse, some other sort of dementia may be imminent.  

Probably not a good idea to try this one at home, even though we all pretty much have peanut butter and rulers. I tried it and was very disappointed. I'm thinking I must have a cold.

I don't know why I didn't remember that before I took the test.  

America, ya gotta love it. 

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