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Olfactory testing in consecutive patients referred with suspected dementia.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Radiology.
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2017 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 17, no 1, 129Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia and early and accurate diagnosis is important. Olfactory dysfunction is an early sign of AD. The contribution by test of olfactory function has been surveyed in AD vs a line of conditions but remains to be settled in the workup of unselected patients referred with suspected dementia.

METHODS: We performed a two-step investigation: first, a comparative study of healthy controls and probable AD patients to test the applicability of the chosen scents (cuisine study); second, a study of consecutive patients referred to our geriatric outpatient clinic for suspected dementia with the investigating personnel blinded to the results of the Olfactory Test (blinded study).

RESULTS: The sum of scents detected discriminated patients with probable AD from controls in the cuisine study (n = 40; p < 0.001; area under ROC curve 0.94). In the blinded study (n = 50) the diagnosis was probable AD in 48%, minimal cognitive impairment in 24%, vascular dementia in 8%, alcohol induced impairment in 12%, depression in 4%, and Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia in 2%. Area under the ROC-curve was 0.67. The odds ratio for probable AD with 2+ smell errors was 12 (95%-CI: 1.3-101; p = 0.026 (reference 0-1 smell errors)) age adjusted. None in the AD group had zero smell errors (Negative Predictive Value 100%).

CONCLUSION: Olfactory testing may support to dismiss the diagnosis of probable AD in the workup of a mixed group of patients referred with cognitive impairment. Still, it had a low sensitivity for probable AD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 17, no 1, 129
Keyword [en]
Alzheimer’s disease, Blinded study, Cognitive impairment, Cuisine study, Dementia, Olfactory dysfunction, Pocket smell test
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Medical and Health Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-328694DOI: 10.1186/s12877-017-0516-2PubMedID: 28633628OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-328694DiVA: diva2:1136902
Available from: 2017-08-29 Created: 2017-08-29 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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