Project

ORBIT (Olfactory Response Baseline Identification Test)

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Alexandra Rieger, 2019

Alexandra Rieger

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We are currently developing a new approach in conducting sensory examinations via the Olfactory Response Baseline Identification Test (O.R.B.I.T). Based upon prior research (1), findings reveal olfactory testing to be an early detector of Alzheimer’s and Dementia (2), even aiding in differentiating the conditions based on identification distance per nostril. This sensory test device automates a crucial portion of the MCPT (Multisensory Cognition Proficiency Test). The O.R.B.I.T. will be the first of many mechanical designs supporting research in detecting and tracking sensory indicators of neurological performance and health throughout GAMMA treatment. 

We are currently developing a new approach in conducting sensory examinations via the Olfactory Response Baseline Identification Test (O.R.B.I.T). Based upon prior research (1), findings reveal olfactory testing to be an early detector of Alzheimer’s and Dementia (2), even aiding in differentiating the conditions based on identification distance per nostril. This sensory test device automates a crucial portion of the MCPT (Multisensory Cognition Proficiency Test). The O.R.B.I.T. will be the first of many mechanical designs supporting research in detecting and tracking sensory indicators of neurological performance and health throughout GAMMA treatment. 

Copyright

Alexandra Rieger, 2019

Traditionally, when olfactory exams are conducted, they are performed manually, leading to a lack of consistent data across researchers and a higher error margin within same-patient testing.

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Image revealing manual testing prior to ORBIT [Inset Citation: Stamps, Jennifer et al.]

A three and a half year longitudinal olfactory study published in JAMA Neurology included the collective data of 1,400 individuals. The average age group was 79. All participants were healthy and near cognitively normal, exhibiting no measurable symptoms of memory dysfunction or deficit. All participants underwent smell tests with 12 items including food and non-food scents. Over the three and a half years, 64 participants were diagnosed with early-stage dementia and 250 participants developed minor memory problems. Results revealed that as olfactory capabilities decreased, their likelihood of Alzheimer’s and memory loss increased. Researcher Rosebud Roberts stated that “the findings suggest that doing a smell test may help identify elderly, mentally normal people who are likely to progress to develop memory problems or, if they have these problems, to progress to Alzheimer’s or dementia” (Roberts, 2015). Another study with over 90 participants conducted at the University of Florida explored olfactory changes in Alzheimer’s using peanut butter as the olfactory stimulus. The study tested three subject groups. The only participants who struggled to smell the peanut butter were the participants with Alzheimer’s. 

While both studies cited and others in this field are promising indicators for the implementation of olfactory testing, study photos  and testing documents reveal a need for standardization through sensors and atomization. It is our hope that the Olfactory Response Baseline Identification Test will support this.

Copyright

Alexandra Rieger, 2019

Citations:

  1. Roberts RO, Christianson TJH, Kremers WK, et al. Association Between Olfactory Dysfunction and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer Disease Dementia. JAMA Neurol. 2016
  2. Stamps, Jennifer J. et al. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, A brief olfactory test for Alzheimer's disease. 2013