Food

Test Your Memory By Smelling This

According to a study at the University of Florida, peanut butter may help detect early signs of Alzheimer’s.

Written By Kimberley Cuachon Haugh

Loss of smell is an early warning sign because the disease affects the olfactory cortex, the part of our brain that processes odors. Surprisingly, smell goes and then memory loss comes later. Enter researcher, Jennifer Stamps, who created a test using peanut butter. The results were recently published in the Journal of Neurological Sciences.

So, why peanut butter? It’s a smell that doesn’t fade. Researchers measured how far participants could smell peanut butter through their left nostril. Those who have Alzheimer’s have more of a degeneration of their left brain hemisphere than their right. Therefore, the sense of smell would be greater on the right nostril if Alzheimer’s is present.

In order to do this test, you will need a partner. With your eyes closed, and your right nostril held closed, ask your partner to hold a jar of peanut butter 12 inches away from your left nostril. Move the jar closer until you’re able to smell the peanut butter. Keep in mind, participants with Alzheimer’s could not smell the peanut butter until it was 5 inches away from the left nostril. Next, test your right nostril. The peanut butter smell should be equal in both nostrils.

When it comes to Alzheimer’s the numbers are to be paid attention to. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.