Olfactory function and degeneration of related neural networks an indicator of cognitive decline.

Takeaway

  • The olfactory network (ON) is compromised but functional in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dysfunctional in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), therefore olfactory function tests may be a valuable indicator of disease progression; differences in response to visual and odor stimuli indicate potentially different disease mechanisms in MCI versus AD.

Why this matters

  • Evidence indicates that deficits in olfaction are associated with memory loss in early AD and predictive of cognitive decline, understanding the relationship between olfaction, neurodegeneration and memory is therefore critical in developing olfactory function as a measure of disease progression in AD.