How Peanut Butter Can Help Detect Alzheimer’s

Researchers at University of Florida have discovered that a simple test involving a tablespoon of peanut butter and a ruler may help doctors detect Alzheimer’s disease.



What they found was that patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s had a difficult time smelling peanut butter under their nose with their left nostril. The cranial nerve associated with smell is often one of the first areas impacted by cognitive decline, and Peanut butter in particular is a “pure odorant”, meaning its scent is only detected by this nerve.

So researchers implementing the test, found that patients who were in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease couldn’t detect the peanut butter until it was a couple centimeters from their face.

However, right now, researchers can only use this test to confirm diagnosis, but they do plan to study patients with mild cognitive impairment to see if this test might be used to predict which patients are going to get Alzheimer’s disease.