New smell test could boost early detection for dementia

More than five million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's disease -- which is just one type of dementia.

University of Chicago researchers have come up with a new test, which they believe can tell if a person has an increased risk of dementia -- it's a smell test with five different scents.

It starts with peppermint, which should be the easiest to smell, and gets more difficult as it goes on. The others are fish, orange, rose and leather.

And the scientists involved believe people who can't determine 4 of the 5 scents could be twice as likely to develop dementia.

The research, shared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, focused on people 57 to 85 years old.

Nearly all those who couldn't identify any of the smells had received a dementia diagnosis within 5 years, and the majority of those with only one or two right answers did as well.

If this test is effective, it could be a tremendous help in early detection, especially with the Daily Mail reporting there are an estimated 47 million people living with dementia across the globe.