In the present study, an olfactory analog to the verbal fluency test was designed and administered to 40 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and 11 patients with Huntington’s disease (HD). Because onset of AD is typically in the sixties while onset of HD is typically in the mid-thirties, the patient groups had their own control group, an older (ONC) and younger (YNC) control group, respectively. Both control groups included 40 participants who were age- and education-matched to their respective patient group. Odor threshold, odor identification, and odor fluency measures were administered to each participant. Results of the study indicate that patients with dementia perform more poorly on all three measures of olfactory functioning. Our results suggest that tests of odor memory show differential performance in healthy and demented patients, leading to the suggestion that tests of olfactory functioning may be useful in detection and diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease.
Source: J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 1999 Jun;21(3):341-51
PMID: 10474173, UI: 99406750
(Joint Doctoral Program in Clincial Psychology, San Diego State University/University of California San Diego, 92120-4913, USA. )