Parkinson’s disease, smoking, certain head injuries and even normal aging can influence our sense of smell. But certain patterns of loss in the ability to identify odors seem pronounced in Alzheimer’s, researchers say.
“Two studies released at an international Alzheimer’s meeting Tuesday suggest doctors may eventually be able to screen people for this form of dementia by testing the ability to identify familiar odors, like smoke, coffee and raspberry…”
Read more at: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/26/487391863/a-sniff-test-for-alzheimers-checks-for-the-ability-to-identify-odors
And why do these two hunter-gatherer groups have so many? Interesting questions and article from The Atlantic, on the research of Asifa Majid from Radboud University in the Netherlands on the Jahai people of Malaysia and the Maniq of Thailand. (Majid’s work was featured earlier this year in a piece by The Economist.) But perhaps another way to look at it is via this excellent post from Dr. Avery Gilbert on The Alleged Limitations of Olfactory Language.
The results of AHRC-funded projects and research are myriad, but every so often a project comes along that promises to impact on many fields and have a genuinely huge commercial potential. One such project is Jenny Tillotson’s eScent, which looks at the way that we use perfumes and scents, whether that is to deter insects, improve our sense of wellbeing, deliver therapeutics or simply appear more attractive.