Peanut butter test may detect Alzheimer's disease: study

A simple test involving a tablespoon of peanut butter and a ruler may help doctors detect Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers led by University of Florida graduate student Jennifer Stamps found that patients with early stage Alzheimer's disease had a more difficult time detecting the peanut butter held under their nose with their left nostril than their right.

Stamps said she first thought of this low-tech method when she noticed patients weren't having their sense of smell tested. The cranial nerve associated with smell is often one of the first areas impacted by cognitive decline.

Peanut butter in particular is a "pure odorant," Stamps said, meaning its scent is only detected by this nerve.

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