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Early signs weight loss : loss of sense of smell ?


Registered User
Jun 26, 2006
Just interested reading some research, but not sure if it relates to alzheimers or vasclar dementia or both. Significant unexplained weight loss was mentioned, prior to diagnosis which was something we had certainly observed, despite the fact that mum seemed to eat well.....and also a strange link which was loss of smell ......Mother in law had mentioned that she had lost all sense of smell again well before we would have considered that anything was wrong, and I was intrigued to read a link between this and alzheimers/vascular dementia.
I suppose rationally if she had lost her sense of smell food would loose its appeal??
Anyone else heard of this ..?


Registered User
May 14, 2007
South East London/Surrey border
There is a suspected link between AD and loss of smell. My husband is taking part in a trial to try and establish a link. He has to do 'scratch and sniff' tests every 6 months. I think the hope is that loss of smell could be taken as an early warning symptom of developing AD - although ,obviously, not everyone who loses sense of smell will go on to develop AD!!

He has also lost a lot of weight despite a very good appetite but I put this down to pacing around the house and walking for miles and miles every evening.


Registered User
Mar 20, 2007
It's funny how we can look back and see the links, isn't it.
My Mum took to using a nasal inhaler quite a few years ago, she lived by herself after Dad passed away in 2000.
We obviously didn't know to the extent of how much she used. She said she always had a cold and she smocked at the time and suffered with chesty coughs, she also took Broncial cough syrup.
When Mum came to live with us she would ask me to put the nasal drops on her pillow. I put a couple of drops on and she said that wasn't enough and she wanted some on the front of her nighty too, after tipping a lot more drops, she said she couldn't smell it. The whole house had a terrible smell for weeks and thinking about it so did Mums bungalow, it was a smell we got used to, when we visited, but didn't question.

She said she had a blocked nose and couldn't smell properly, anyway I weaned her off the drops and she doesn't take them now,
When I think back, about the same time she took to smoking menthol fags and sucking menthol cough sweets.

I'm pleased to say Mum stopped smoking a few months before she cam to live with us, she was a smoker for over 60 years.
She accepts she has lost her sense of smell and eats a good healthy diet (small portion) and seems to enjoy her food.
Our dog, who sits by Mum suffers terrible wind, we have to hold our noses, when we are doing this, Mum asks why and then she says 'Well I can't smell anything.
Is it the long years of smoking or Mums AZ that is the cause of her loss of smell ?
Take Care
Janetruth x


Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
Yes, my mum lost her sense of smell a few years back, followed by dramatic weightloss and loss of appetite.. Initially this was quite a good thing as she was very overweight, but when she continued to lose, the doctor was involved.
However his view was quite simply she was so inactive she didnt burn any calories and therefore needed very little food.
She is very small now, maybe 45kg, and according to her still losing weight although she looks the same size to me.