Simple, Old-fashioned “Smell Test” Helps to Diagnose Early Parkinson Disease

Today, few “modern day” neurologists carry in their medical bags (if he or she even carries a bag) small flasks with fragrant substances such as vanilla, coffee and vinegar in order to conduct a patient’s smell perception testing.

Numerous reports in neurological literature, including World of Neurology, Vol. 24, No. 6, indicate that olfactory dysfunction may precede the motor dysfunction of Parkinson disease (and perhaps that of Lewy body dementia - in my opinion).

Such testing may help to differentiate Parkinson Disease from other disorders that may have a similar presentation early on, such as progressive supranuclear palsy or corticiobasal degeneration.

Such testing is very much recommended by the American Academy of Neurology.

I think that it is a neat, inexpensive “technique” that can make a big difference. Also, as an added benefit, it carries a very small carbon footprint!





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