Could Alzheimer’s Be Diagnosed Using Peanut Butter?

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Advancements are being made daily towards early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The newest one might make you eye that jar of Jif a little differently.

Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered that something lurking in your pantry might help when it comes to diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s and certain forms of dementia. That’s right, the Incan concoction, most often attributed to George Washington Carver, is being used as an early indicator in diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s.

We all know the colloquial belief that smells tie strongest to memories, and when it comes to those with memory impairment, it is often the olfactory sense that goes first. More specifically, it is the olfactory cortex that first falls victim to Alzheimer’s. Because of this, UF researchers have devised a way they believe to perhaps “catch” the debilitating disease early enough that could help them in further studies, treatment, and even someday hopefully a cure down the road.

Why peanut butter? Well the popular sandwich component has been identified as  ”pure odorant” which means it is picked up solely by the olfactory nerve. Therefore it is easier for scientists to pinpoint.

Discoveries like these are significant due mostly to the fact that a jar of peanut butter is exponentially less expensive than practically any other test used to diagnose memory related issues today.

As tempting as it might be, go ahead and step away from the Peter Pan and put down the ruler. As with most research, this is not a foolproof diagnostic and surely the last thing doctors want to see is the next generation of “Google Doctors” conducting their testing in the aisles of Piggly Wiggly.

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