Many may be surprised to learn that our sense of smell is linked to brain health. Unlike temporary smell loss associated with a cold or COVID-19, ongoing smell loss can be a sign of cell damage associated with brain disease. So, what’s the connection to Parkinson’s disease?
Some people with Parkinson’s report losing their sense of smell years or even decades before receiving a diagnosis. In fact, research shows that loss of smell may be one of the most important signals of Parkinson’s risk.
To help shed light on this connection, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) launches a new animation video, narrated by Willie Geist. You may know Geist from NBC's Sunday TODAY or MSNBC's Morning Joe, but now news anchor and MJFF Board Member is the star narrator of the video, “Your Nose Knows: How to Keep Your Brain Healthy at Every Age.”
Geist is no stranger to Parkinson’s disease. His father, Bill, who sits on MJFF’s Patient Council, has lived with Parkinson’s for 30 years. In this video, he talks about the role of smell loss in brain health and how a simple scratch-and-sniff test could help you proactively monitor your health. As Geist shares in the video:
“By participating in the smell test, you’re taking action early to protect your brain health. And there’s a bonus: you also are helping scientists to understand why, how and when brain disease begins. You can bring us closer to understanding how we can keep our magnificent brains healthy for many more years to come.”
Watch the full animation video above to learn more.
If you’re over age 60 and not living with Parkinson’s disease, take a free and simple scratch-and-sniff test today at mysmelltest.org/mjff.