Older people with a poor sense of smell have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, US research has shown.


The discovery raises the prospect of using "sniffing sticks" to flag individuals needing closer monitoring in the next five years.


Though humans lack the acute sense of some animals such as dogs, they can distinguish up to a trillion different odours.


The brain's ability to sort and recognise smells may provide a way of spotting early damage caused by neurodegenerative disease, the research suggests.


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