Good question, right? Smell loss is associated with increased mortality in older adults, yet physicians do not regularly screen for changes in a person’s ability to smell as they might with sight and hearing. Monell is committed to ensuring that clinicians have the resources and knowledge to monitor their patients’ sense of smell to improve health and well-being. SCENTinel, a rapid smell test developed by Monell scientists and collaborators at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, could be part of any test of smell loss caused by viral infections, brain injury, aging, and such neurodegenerative disorders as Parkinson’s disease. After rigorous study to demonstrate the utility of smell testing as a well-visit screening technology, initial in-office targets could be Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Our aim is for SCENTinel to demonstrate to primary care physicians that actionable information results from regular smell testing.
We are currently funded by the National Institutes of Health to test SCENTinel as a COVID-19 diagnostic. We are also partnering with other scientists to use SCENTinel to study COVID-19 long haulers. But our long-term vision is that every well visit to the doctor involves checking your weight, blood pressure, and your sense of smell.
Fast: < 1 minute to complete
Versatile: at home, in a waiting room
Inexpensive: < $2 per test
Reliable: 95% accurate in detecting smell loss