Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fact of the day : Loss of Olfaction is a prodrome of neurodegeneration

Hey Awesomites

Loss of the sense of smell is one of the first warning signs of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases associated with dementia.

One of the common link evidenced in some studies is the damage to neurotransmitter and neuromodulator receptors ( particularly acetylcholine ) in the frontal part of brain.

Also, one of the pathogenic hallmarks of AD, the Neurofibrillary Tangles ( NFTs ) have been found in olfactory bulb, olfactory tract, the transentorhinal and entorhinal cortex, anterior olfactory nuclei and amygdale. The number of NFTs within these areas have been positively correlated with the disease progression.

Thus, olfactory testing at the 'right time' is essential to detect the presence of disease process in its 'preclinical phase' itself. It could help in the differential diagnosis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Early diagnostic interventions such as smell testing, brain imaging procedures like functional MRI and PET scan, olfactory epithelium biopsy, using radioactive neurochemicals help in evaluation.

The anosmic symptoms are much more common in old patients of more than 65 years of age.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh

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