Over the last few days, the news media has run a number of stories about peanut butter, smell and Alzheimer’s. Apparently a graduate student at the University of Florida conducted a pilot study, albeit small, to test Alzheimer patients’ and control volunteers’ ability to smell peanut butter. The results showed that the Alzheimer’s patients had a significantly decreased ability to smell in their left nostril, as compared with their right nostril, and compared to controls. This was a control blind study, results of which have been published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
Made the connection yet. As you know, a large percentage of Parkinson’s patients have lost their sense of smell. Many of them prior to diagnosis. Actually, there is a smell test trial spearheaded by the Michael J Fox Foundation to determine whether a loss of smell may be a pre symptom cohort in PD and a smell may be helpful in early diagnosis for PD. By the way, have you signed up for this free pass to do good? It’s only two questions and easy to complete!
Coincidentally, that the two leading neurodegenerative diseases may have the same pre-symptom indicator. Now I am not a scientist, but I was not surprised by the finding. In the readings that I do to keep my finger on the pulse of research, one thing seems to be a common topic. Misfolded proteins. Alpha-synuclein protein in Parkinson’s and tau protein, among many, in Alzheimer’s.
Now this seems exciting to me. Why? My simple brain says “Unite”, “Share”. It is simple. All we have to do is share data between the scientists studying these two diseases. The model is there in the Fox Foundation. This is not about big pharma making money or some PhD getting famous or rich, it about finding a cure for both of these diseases, now.