Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that cause memory loss, severe confusion and ultimately death. Although there is no known cure for the disease, doctors do know that early intervention is key to longer lifespans and a better quality of living.
The only problem? Alzheimer’s is notoriously difficult to diagnose in early stages. However, thanks to new research being discovered at the University of Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, that could all be changing. Using only a scoop of peanut butter and a ruler, clinicians are discovering secrets that could change lives and save memories for millions of people around the world.
It’s a surprising development in a desperate search for anything that can help people cope with the onset of this so-far incurable disease. It’s one of the big ironies of our age, as medicine and care have extended the age to which we all live, we’re beginning to run into issues we hadn’t planned for. Dementia was never as big an issue in the past, when few people got old enough to experience it. While Alzheimer’s disease can come into a person’s life earlier than expected, it’s extremely rare. For as little as we know about how to prevent it, we have gained quite a bit of knowledge about groups that are more susceptible to the disease than others. This can be helpful in predicting and addressing the disease before it becomes truly overwhelming, much like the peanut butter test.