Can urine odour provide early detection for Alzheimer's disease?

eNews sign-up

Sign up for our eNews and discover more about what we're up to, the difference we're making, and, most importantly, how you can help.


A recently published article from The Alzheimer’s Society has offered a unique insight that changes in urine odour could provide an early indication of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, conducted on mice in the US Department of Agriculture Monell Centre and published in the online journal Scientific Reports, concludes that a differentiating smell in the urine appears just before significant dementia-related developments occur within the brain.

The research was conducted on three different types of mice that had been genetically altered to mimic the changes seen within Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that each strain of mouse produced a particular urinary odour that was easily distinguishable from normal mice.

It was noted that extensive studies would need to continue in order to translate the differences of odours into humans, and that it was too early to tell if the study will lead to an appropriate identifying method.

Doug Brown, the Director of Research at The Alzheimer’s Society said “The findings of this study are interesting, but it is too early to tell if they can help us to develop ways to identify people with Alzheimer’s disease before memory symptoms appear. The test was carried out on genetically altered mice, which do not fully replicate several of the important changes seen in the brains of people with dementia, so  we cannot yet predict that we will see the same urine changes in people.”

Read the full story on The Alzheimer's Society website
Changes in urine provide early indication of Alzheimer's disease in mice
The Alzheimer's Society, 15 January 2016