Researchers, doctors, elder law advocates and elder law attorneys have long sought a reliable way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease before the disease incapacitates a person. If a diagnosis could be made before someone even begins to show symptoms of the disease, then that would be even better.
Early diagnosis is important not just for treatment, but also to allow someone to get his or her affairs in order before the disease takes its toll. Estate plans, wills, guardians, powers of attorney and living wills must all be done before the person becomes incapacitated.
However, diagnosis of Alzheimer's has proven to be elusive.
Medical Express reports a positive development in "Odor biomarker for Alzheimer's disease."
Researchers have discovered in studies of mice that urine has a distinctive smell in specimens with pathologies that mimic Alzheimer's. This smell can be detected even when no actual symptoms of Alzheimer's are present.
While this research is still in its infancy there is a possibility that it could result in a test that could be used to diagnose Alzheimer's in humans. Perhaps a chemical test of the urine's composition to identify the disease will be developed.
Reference: Medical Express (Jan. 14, 2016) "Odor biomarker for Alzheimer's disease."