Olfactory and gustatory functioning and food preferences of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment compared to controls: the NUDAD project

A.S. Doorduijn*, M.A.E. de van der Schueren, O. van de Rest, F.A. de Leeuw, J.L.P. Fieldhouse, M.I. Kester, C.E. Teunissen, P. Scheltens, W.M. van der Flier, M. Visser, S. Boesveldt

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Our aim is to compare olfactory and gustatory function and food preferences of patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with controls. We included 22 patients with MCI, 30 patients with AD and 40 controls and assessed olfactory threshold, odor discrimination and odor identification (Sniffin’ Sticks), gustatory functioning (Taste Strips), and food preferences (Macronutrient and Taste Preference Ranking Task). Linear regression analyses were used to study associations of five cognitive domains or AD biomarkers with olfactory functioning. Groups did not differ in olfactory threshold, gustatory function and food preferences. Patients with MCI and AD scored lower on odor discrimination and identification than controls. Poorer memory, but no other cognitive domain, was associated with poorer odor discrimination and odor identification, but not with odor threshold. No associations with AD biomarkers were found. In conclusion, patients with MCI and AD have poorer odor discrimination and identification ability than controls, but similar detection thresholds. This is likely a consequence of poorer memory rather than directly caused by AD pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume267
Issue number1
Early online date8 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Malnutrition
  • Older adults

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    Doorduijn, A. S., de van der Schueren, M. A. E., van de Rest, O., de Leeuw, F. A., Fieldhouse, J. L. P., Kester, M. I., Teunissen, C. E., Scheltens, P., van der Flier, W. M., Visser, M., & Boesveldt, S. (2020). Olfactory and gustatory functioning and food preferences of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment compared to controls: the NUDAD project. Journal of Neurology, 267(1), 144-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-019-09561-0