Magdalena M Misiak, MariaMananita S Hipolito, Habtom W Ressom, Thomas O Obisesan, Kebreten F Manaye and Evaristus A Nwulia
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia that affects more than 5 million Americans. It is the only disease among the 10 causes of death that cannot be slowed or cured, thus raising the need for identification of early preclinical markers that could be the focus of preventative efforts. Although evidence is escalating that abnormalities in olfactory structure and function precede AD development and early cognitive impairments by one or more decades, the importance of olfaction is largely overlooked in AD, and such testing is not routinely performed in neurology clinics. Nevertheless, research using the olfactory model, has begun to advance our understanding of the preclinical pathophysiology of AD. Notably, an interesting series of studies is beginning to illuminate the relationship between Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4 polymorphism and olfactory dysfunction and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In this article, we reviewed present research on the significance of ApoE and olfaction to AD, summarized current studies on the associations and mechanisms of ApoE and olfactory dysfunction, and highlighted important gaps for future work to further advance the translational application of the olfactory paradigm to early, preclinical diagnosis and treatment of AD.