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Data from the first 129 individuals show that the more trouble a person had identifying smells accurately, the greater the number of tangles that showed up in the brain's olfactory area. This link was strong even in people "with no cognitive impairment" when the smell testing took place, Wilson told Science News, suggesting "that problems in smell ability may be a very early sign of [Alzheimer's] disease." His team's findings appeared in the January Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
The olfactory area, where smells are processed, lies close to the emotional centre of the brain.
Here, we analyze the gross morphometry of three OBC: (1) OB, a part of the forebrain that receives neural input about odors detected by primary olfactory neurons in the nasal cavity, (2) OT, a bundle of nerve fibers that connect the OB with the olfactory cortex and (3) OS, the ridges formed, laterally and medially, when fiber bundles of the OT split on reaching the olfactory areas of the cortex (Price, 2004).