Is losing your sense of smell a symptom of Alzheimer's disease?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 28, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is it true that if you lose your sense of smell it's a symptom of Alzheimer's disease?

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

Sense of smell may by decreased by Alzheimer's disease but the changes cannot be used for diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. However, complete loss of sense of smell may be due to other conditions and should be evaluated by a neurologist.