Association between olfactory dysfunction and amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease dementia

Rosebud O. Roberts, Teresa J H Christianson, Walter K. Kremers, Michelle M. Mielke, Mary M. Machulda, Maria Vassilaki, Rabe E. Alhurani, Yonas E. Geda, David S. Knopman, Ronald C. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE To increase the opportunity to delay or prevent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia, markers of early detection are essential. Olfactory impairment may be an important clinical marker and predictor of these conditions and may help identify persons at increased risk. OBJECTIVE To examine associations of impaired olfaction with incident MCI subtypes and progression from MCI subtypes to AD dementia. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Participants enrolled in the population-based, prospectiveMayo Clinic Study of Aging between 2004 and 2010 were clinically evaluated at baseline and every 15 months through 2014. Participants (N = 1630) were classified as having normal cognition, MCI (amnestic MCI [aMCI] and nonamnestic MCI [naMCI]), and dementia. We administered the Brief Smell Identification Test (B-SIT) to assess olfactory function. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Mild cognitive impairment, AD dementia, and longitudinal change in cognitive performance measures. RESULTS Of the 1630 participants who were cognitively normal at the time of the smell test, 33 died before follow-up and 167 were lost to follow-up. Among the 1430 cognitively normal participants included, the mean (SD) age was 79.5 (5.3) years, 49.4%were men, the mean duration of education was 14.3 years, and 25.4%were APOE e4 carriers. Over a mean 3.5 years of follow-up, there were 250 incident cases of MCI among 1430 cognitively normal participants.We observed an association between decreasing olfactory identification, as measured by a decrease in the number of correct responses in B-SIT score, and an increased risk of aMCI. Compared with the upper B-SIT quartile (quartile [Q] 4, best scores), hazard ratios (HRs) (95%CI) were 1.12 (0.65-1.92) for Q3 (P = .68); 1.95 (1.25-3.03) for Q2 (P = .003); and 2.18 (1.36-3.51) for Q1 (P = .001) (worst scores; P for trend

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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