Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2019
Date: July 14-18, 2019
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Topic: Association between the olfactory identification ability and cognitive function in non-demented elderly
The goal of Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is to promote dementia research. It is the largest and the most influential international conference in this field. This year, AAIC was hold in Los Angeles Convention Center in the United States. Over 6,000 leading dementia researchers attended this conference and presented a record-breaking number (over 3400) of abstracts, which included 229 dementia-related clinical trials.
Prof. Yen-Ching Chen of Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University gave an oral presentation on the first day of AAIC 2019. The topic of her talk was “Association between the olfactory identification ability and cognitive function in non-demented elderly”. Olfactory function declines gradually as aging and is impaired in people with neurodegenerative disorder. The deficit of odor identification has been used to predict mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and conversion from MCI to AD. However, limited studies have related olfactory function to cognitive domains in community-dwelling elders.
This cross-sectional study (2015-2017) is part of a cohort study “Taiwan Initiative for Geriatric Epidemiological Research”, and 605 community-dwelling elders (aged 65+) were recruited from elderly health checkup program at National Taiwan University Hospital between 2011 and 2013. The target population included 415 elders who completed the 4-year follow-up and without cognitive impairment. The cross-culture modified version of Sniffin’ Sticks Odor Identification Test was used to evaluate the ability of identifying odorants. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment-Taiwanese version (MoCA-T) and a battery of neuropsychological tests were administered to assess the global and domain-specific (logical memory, executive function, verbal fluency, and attention) cognition.
This study found that better olfactory identification ability was associated with better performance of global cognition, logical memory, verbal fluency, and attention. After stratified analyses, the associations above remained significant in men, the older population, and those with less functional decline. Taken together, this study found a positive association of odor identification with global and domain-specific (logical memory, verbal fluency, and attention) cognition in non-demented elders. These findings are helpful in identifying AD in the pre-clinical phase.