Olfactory dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease Systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a neurodegenerative condition, is one of the most prevalent kinds of dementia, whose frequency doubles for every 5 years of age in elderly. Objective: To determine the correlation between AD and olfactory alterations, identifying the most affected domains and exploring the utility of olfactory tests for complementing early diagnosis. Methods: Databases were searched using the terms “olfactory OR smell OR olfaction AND alzheimer” for articles related to the proposed theme. The selected studies were categorized and evaluated separately depending on the method of analysis of the olfactory tests: identification of odors, discrimination and recognition, and a meta-analysis was carried out. Results: Fifty-one articles were selected for analysis. The effect size for most studies was large, as were the summary values for each category of individualized olfactory analysis. Conclusion: Among the olfactory domains, except memory, identification appears to be the most altered in AD. The possibility of including tests that specifically evaluate the identification of odors as an item in early diagnostic evaluation should be explored. PROSPERO registration: CRD42018089076.