Simple sniff tests will now help detection of Neurological disorders in their early stage or even the chances of developing any of them.
Melbourne researchers have found a relationship between identification of various smells such as coffee, whisky, roses and bleach and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
AdvertisementScientific director of the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Christos Pantelis said, "The test has proved very valuable in the early detection of illness, in monitoring its progression and also perhaps in predicting who might develop particular conditions."
It is known since long about olfactory senses being connected to the frontal lobes, which is the portion of the brain responsible for analytical skill and the persons emotions.
Professor Pantelis said, "What we're finding is that individuals before the onset of psychotic illness show a loss of brain matter in that very region that is relevant to smell."
"So with that knowledge, when we come across a young person who seems not quite well but we're not sure what's going on, a smell test might help with the clinical picture."
He also said that this diagnostic tool is "much like a blood test".
Orygen Youth Health, one of the participants of the research offers this test at $60.
Professor Pantelis said, "Ideally, if that could be funded in some way, perhaps by Government, it would be extremely useful."
Hope is there that this would unlock the genetic predisposition of Neurological disorders.
Warwick Brewer, Assistant proffesor at Orygen Youth Health said, "The ability to smell each individual odour is linked to a specific gene marker, and so if people have problems on specific items on this test, then that might have valuable genetic implications."
"Because of the genetic link in many illnesses, it is hoped the test could also be used by family members of people who have developed an illness of the brain."